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Sen. Tim Kaine: Virginia vote on same-sex marriage could be different today

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In 2006, Virginians voted 57 percent to 43 percent for a constitutional ban on gay marriage in the state, but Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine says that just 6½ years later, the outcome could be different.

“If we had that election today, I’m not sure it would come out the same way,” Mr. Kaine said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

A Washington Post poll from just last month seemingly does show dramatic change in sentiment among Virginia voters over just the past two years. Fifty-six percent of registered voters thought gay marriage should be legal, compared with 34 percent who said it should not be. In May 2011, 47 percent of those surveyed thought it should be legal, compared with 43 percent who thought it should be illegal.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered two major wins to gay-marriage advocates, ruling a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and turning away an appeal of a ruling against a voter initiative in California that defined marriage as between one man and one woman in the state.

Not counting California, 35 other states ban same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment, state law or both. Including California, which soon will allow same-sex marriages to resume, gay marriage is legal in 13 states plus the District of Columbia.

Mr. Kaine said the rulings will resonate during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

“All over the country, people are going to hear the Declaration of Independence read — we do that on the Fourth of July,” he said. “When we get to those words — ‘all men are created equal’ — it’s going to have sort of a new luster and a deeper richness when we do that next week.”

“Next week, the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, and they’re going to be there reading Lincoln’s address, the Gettysburg Address, a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal — that’s going to have a brighter luster next week because of the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday,” he added.

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