Chris Dodd | Gay Marriage | News

CT Senator Chris Dodd Comes Out for Full Marriage Equality

Chris Dodd has come out for full marriage equality. Dodd published an op-ed in the Meriden Record-Journal yesterday and on his blog, saying, "the fact that I was raised a certain way just isn’t a good enough reason to stand in the way of fairness anymore."

It never was, but at least he's realized it.

Dodd Here's what Dodd said during the Democratic primary in July 2007 at the YouTube debate.

"I'd simply ask the audience to ask themselves the question that [my wife] Jackie and I have asked: How would I want my two daughters treated if they grew up and had a different sexual orientation than their parents? Good jobs, equal opportunity, to be able to retire, to visit each other, to be with each other, as other people do. So I feel very strongly, if you ask yourself the question, "How would you like your children treated if they had a different sexual orientation than their parents?," the answer is yes. They ought to have that ability in civil unions. I don't go so far as to call for marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. But my state of Connecticut, the state of New Hampshire, have endorsed civil unions. I strongly support that. But I don't go so far as marriage."

Watch that video, AFTER THE JUMP...

In his op-ed yesterday, Dodd writes, "I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage. And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history."

Read it, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via pam's house blend)

CHRIS DODD OP-ED on MARRIAGE EQUALITY

RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND LOVE

Public officials aren’t supposed to change their minds. But I firmly believe that it’s important to keep learning. Last week, while I was in Connecticut meeting with members of the gay and lesbian community from across the state, I had the opportunity to tell them what I’ve learned about marriage, and about equality.

While I’ve long been for extending every benefit of marriage to same-sex couples, I have in the past drawn a distinction between a marriage-like status (“civil unions”) and full marriage rights.

The reason was simple: I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. And as many other Americans have realized as they’ve struggled to reconcile the principle of fairness with the lessons they learned early in life, that’s not an easy thing to overcome.

But the fact that I was raised a certain way just isn’t a good enough reason to stand in the way of fairness anymore.

The Connecticut Supreme Court, of course, has ruled that such a distinction holds no merit under the law. And the Court is right.

I believe that effective leaders must be able and willing to grow and change over their service. I certainly have during mine – and so has the world. Thirty-five years ago, who could have imagined that we’d have an African-American President of the United States?

My young daughters are growing up in a different reality than I did. Our family knows many same-sex couples – our neighbors in Connecticut, members of my staff, parents of their schoolmates. Some are now married because the Connecticut Supreme Court and our state legislature have made same-sex marriage legal in our state.

But to my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That’s what we’ve taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together.

And, really, that’s what marriage should be. It’s about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love.

I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage.

And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history.

I have always been proud of my long record fighting for the civil rights of the LGBT community. I’ve co-sponsored legislation to strengthen hate crime laws and end discrimination in the workplace. I’ve spoken out against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and always supported equal rights for domestic partnerships.

But I am also proud to now count myself among the many elected officials, advocates, and ordinary citizens who support full marriage equality for same-sex couples.

I understand that even those who oppose discrimination might continue to find it hard to re-think the definition of marriage they grew up with. I know it was for me.

But many of the things we must do to make our union more perfect – whether it’s fighting for decades to reform our health care system or struggling with a difficult moral question – are hard. They take time. And they require that, when you come to realize that something is right, you be unafraid to stand up and say it.

That’s the only way our history will progress along that long arc towards justice.

DODD's STATEMENT at the JULY 2007 YOUTUBE DEBATE:

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Comments

  1. Good for him! I liked his response during the primaries, putting his family out there to drive home personal connection. I'm glad he's made the final step toward marriage equality.

    Posted by: KFLO | Jun 22, 2009 12:18:28 PM


  2. good for him!!

    Posted by: David | Jun 22, 2009 12:43:38 PM


  3. Like every single Democrat running for Prez last year, he believed that'civil unions' was the furthest position he could stake out safely on this issue. Now that he's not running for anything outside New England, he could 'evolve' his position. This is not a criticism... kudos to him... but it is the truth, just like with Obama and Clinton and Biden.

    Posted by: Kugel | Jun 22, 2009 2:17:33 PM


  4. Senator Dodd
    Thank you for your very open and public show of understanding and support for gay marriage equality.
    If you'd like for your daughters to truly know that you came down on the right side of this issue then I'd respectfully suggest that you now show by another example. Sign on for the repeal of DADT and be the Senate lead that Obama claims to need for the reppeal of DOMA.
    History remembers.

    Posted by: Curtis | Jun 22, 2009 4:07:25 PM


  5. "And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history."
    ---------

    That's awesome. Would that all senators with kids would ask themselves how they want to be remembered in ten years when marriage equality is the norm and opposition to gay marriage is as politically incorrect as the 'n' word.

    Posted by: sparks | Jun 22, 2009 4:16:47 PM


  6. Like everyone here, I appreciate the Senator's coming out about this. However, I can't help but wonder if this is somehow related to the fact that he's facing a challenging re-election bid, due to his links to the financial industry during the bailouts and the fact he has an opponent in the Democratic primaries.

    Posted by: Joel | Jun 22, 2009 5:49:17 PM


  7. Please don't lavish too much praise on my senior senator for finally finding enlightenment on marriage equality. He was elected to the U.S. House of Represenattives as a 30-year old in 1974. Six years later, he won a seat in the Senate. Dodd also was Bill Clinton's DNC Chairman. Connecticut passed ENDA in '91, and gay couple adoptions, hate crimes, civil unions and marriage equality in subsequent years. Chris has always said the right things, tacitly supporting our issues but never has he led the fight for our community. Never. To me, he has consistently exhibited a personal level of discomfort with LGBT people and issues. So, what came out of that meeting with LGBT activists? A photo op of him holding a marriage equality t-shirt that will be used during a tough re-election campaign in 2010.

    Posted by: Bryan | Jun 22, 2009 5:53:31 PM


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