Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana said Friday that they support same-sex marriage — making them the latest in a long line of Democrats to recently come out in favor of gay marriage.
Mrs. Heitkamp issued a press release that said the federal government should not “discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships.”
“I view the ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief. The makeup of families is changing, but the importance of family is enduring,” she said.
Mr. Donnelly, meanwhile, announced on Facebook that “I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all.”
A number of Democrats on Capitol Hill have announced their support for same-sex marriage.
The announcements coincide with two cases before the Supreme Court that challenge the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a voter referendum that banned same sex marriage in the state, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage for the purposes of federal law as only a union between one man and one woman.
The announcements from Mrs. Heitkamp and Mr. Donnelly come a day after Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said he also supports gay marriage.
“Simply put, if the Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn’t, and I won’t,” Mr. Nelson said. “So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional.”
Republican Sens. Mark Kirk and Rob Portman also now back same-sex marriage.