Friday, October 31, 2014
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Casey a holdout in Senate on gay marriage

Sen. Bob Casey is among the few remaining Democrats in the Senate who have not yet voiced support for same-sex marriage and marriage equality advocates in Pennsylvania want to change that.

Casey a holdout in Senate on gay marriage

Sen. Bob Casey is among the few remaining Democrats in the Senate who have not yet voiced support for same-sex marriage and marriage equality advocates in Pennsylvania want to change that.

With this week's Supreme Court battle drawing protests and debate on both sides, Politico looked at the nine holdouts in the Senate, among them Pennsylvania's senior Senator.

Just this week North Carolina Democrat Sen. Kay Hagen, a leading Republican target in the 2014 election, went public with her support for gay marriage (despite North Carolina voters last year overwhelmingly adopting a ban on same-sex marriage), joining Jon Tester of Montana, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Mark Warner of Virginia among the 46 Senate Democrats who support of same-sex marriage.

Now, gay rights advocates say, it is time for all Democratic lawmakers to join President Obama and the majority of voters who back same-sex marriage.

Equality PA, a statewide gay rights advocacy group, said it urged its supporters to call Casey's office this week.

 "We've been working with Casey to get him to come out and support marriage equality for a while. Now people calling his office to tell him to get with program," said Ted Martin, the group's executive director.

"He's been supportive on other LGTB issues, he just hasn't made leap on marriage."

 In addition to Casey, the remaining Senate Democrats still not supporting gay marriage are Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Lousiana, Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Carper, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

Huffington Post compiled the list last week, but as Politico points out, the news site was having a tough time keeping the list up to date with all the Senators suddenly switching positions.

Casey and the others in his camp, Politico reports, now find themselves to the right of former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on the major social issue of the moment.

Gay rights may not be a make or break election issue yet, some say, but lack of support among Democratic candidates could alienate key donors and a growing number of constituents.

Martin tells Commonwealth Confidential that Casey's voice mailbox was full this morning, so he figures that's a good sign.

"I would like to see PA be a leader for a change," he said.


 

 

 

 

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About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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