Senator Mary Landrieu Personally Believes in Marriage Equality But Won’t Back It Because of Louisiana’s Anti-Gay Laws

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), one of the four senate Democrats yet to back marriage equality, told CNN that she personally believes in it but won't take an official position because Louisiana has laws against gay unions:

LandrieuLandrieu told CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta in an interview Friday that she personally believes "people should love who they love and marry who they want to marry," but that her obligation rests with the people of Louisiana who elected her.

"My state has a very strong constitutional amendment not only against gay marriage but against gay partnerships. So I'm looking at the people of Louisiana trying to represent their interests," she said.

The other Democrats besides Landrieu who have yet to evolve are Tim Johnson (D-SD),  Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Mark Pryor, (D-AR).


  1. Jim Tideman says

    I live in Louisiana and believe Ms Landrieu to be sincere. Thus far she has proven to be a fighter for the common person and environmental issues and so forth. In the end I think she supports equality, and I prefer her to some of the real anti-gay wing nuts planning to run against her. If she holds out, that is probably good for gays in the long run.

  2. Chad says

    Landrieu is up for reelection, I believe. Louisiana is deep Red. A Democrat will not win…so hurrah if she comes out for SSM, but she will be booted on that issue alone. In the end, we don’t win.

  3. AriesMatt says

    Interesting, as I just posted a comment wondering why she hadn’t spoken up about her position. I know for a fact that Mary has helped gay fundraising efforts with her political connections in New Orleans going back decades.

    And I totally agree with Jim Tideman. Let her get reelected and then make more of a difference next term. Outside of New Orleans, Louisiana is a very conservative state.

  4. graphicjack says

    to be fair, she does have to represent her constituents. That being said, it would be great if she showed leadership here. Maybe by saying she supports it personally, and by saying that publically, it will slowly help turn minds around. But I do have to remember this IS Louisiana we are taking about… so it might be a very loooong wait.

  5. Mitchell says

    Any idiot who is criticizing Landrieu would be those who wanted McCaskill to come out before the election and we’d have been stuck with a stupid Todd Akin as senator now.

  6. MrRoboto says

    “So I’m looking at the people of Louisiana trying to represent their interests.”

    Apparently gay Louisianans’ interests are of no concern to her. Why on earth would she want to represent them?

  7. Rickie says

    She’s a rep. If you want change, work WITH “the people” to change their views.

    It’s too easy to sit on your fat butts and pass judgement and not actually DO anything of an significance.

    She’s done more for gay people than most of the commentators here will EVER do. THAT is the great irony.

    Strategy is how battles and wars are won. Not by being bitchy, ignorant, aloof, self-righteous little queens.

  8. Chitown kev says

    What would some of you have mary Landrieu to do?

    One thing you forget is how much more conservative this state has become since Hurrican Katrina. Louisana is VERY VERY red state (moreso than North Dakota).

    Regardless of what Landrieu says, she’ll probably lose in 2014 (barring a Todd Akin type running). I would love for a Dem to be able to hold on to a state like this.

    I don’t like what she said but I completely understand it.

  9. Francis says

    Landrieu’s been better to gay people in Louisiana than most of the politicians who have recently spoken out for marriage equality. She’s been one of the few who have actually done something on her own accord for our rights. So I don’t blame her for this, because she must have looked into the numbers and saw that her coming out for marriage equality would lead to a backlash. That’s on Louisiana, not her.

    With that being said…….GUYS, WE ARE BEING USED. OUR RIGHTS AND LIVES ARE BEING POLITICIZED BY DEMOCRATS/MODERATE REPUBLICANS. Does anyone not see that? We’re being used. These messages of support are completely and utterly political and have been for the past week at least. It’s cheap at this point. We’re celebrating politicians who have spoken against us as early as last election cycle. Bill Nelson just last week was against marriage equality, now he’s for it. Donnelly as well.

    We’re being used. Most of these politicians who say they support haven’t and won’t do anything for us going forward and we still don’t have enough votes for legislation. There isn’t enough political will for legislation on our issues.

  10. Sam says

    I’m impressed that she has taken this position, given how conservative Louisiana is, and I applaud her for trying to strike some balance on the issue.

    In the end, I’d like to see Democrats continue to control the Senate and if it means that Democrats from conservative states must take a position that is contrary to the party platform, so be it.

  11. Robert says

    In the end, it does not matter. She can prattle on about whatever she says she believes in, her actions are all that counts. By her actions, she is just another bigot.

    Democrats and Republicans are the same. It is the individual, not the party, that deserves to be voted for or against. Mary Landrieu deserves to not only be escorted to the door, but a big boot shoved hard up her butt to get her there faster!

  12. Kevin says

    ALl due respect,she is up for reelection in a very,VERY Red State.
    And I’m sorry,the stampede by the Democrats to get on board is a joke at this point.
    Actions speak louder then words at this point and I’ll judge them when votes come.

  13. woodroad34d says

    She’s not a State Senator, she’s a Federal Senator and therefore needs to understand there are other people in the U.S. than just her sinkhole state’s uneducated, lizard brain conservatives that she represents. Some leader; she’s a follower.

  14. Buckie says

    Apparently very few commentators here have an understanding of politics, strategy, or what it means to be a Senator.

    Calling her a Federal Senator is ridiculous and nonsensical.

    Ignoring the political reality of the state in question, well that’s just pig-ignorant.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    OK, Francis. We already have a Francis who post comments regularly. And he is a very wonderful person. Couldn’t you (the new Francis) add something to your posting name so that there is no confusion? Please.

    Mary Landieu will certainly come out for marriage equality…in the spring of 2015. She’s running for re-election, y’all.

  16. Anthony says

    Well one way to change people’s minds is simply come out of the closet. The more of us there are and that people know, the harder it is for them to oppose us. Simple as that.

  17. Bart says

    Wonder if the good folks in Louisiana opted for slavery again if she’d be for it?

    Maybe segregation laws?

    How about women as property?

    It would be interesting to compare her voting record in Congress against the laws of Louisiana to see if she’s actually telling the truth.

  18. says

    I am from a different state so I am not familiar with her, but it sounds like she has tried to help the LGBTQ community. However, if she came out for marraige equality, her constituents wouldn’t have it. I guess that we have to remember how conservative her state is outside of New Orleans, as others have said…

  19. MickleSt says

    Told ya so. If she actively campaigned for Marriage Equality or even lifted so much as a finger in that direction, she’s afraid she’d never get re-elected.

  20. Jeffrey York says

    Maybe it’s time to do what’s right and stand up to the homophobes of Louisiana. She has to decide if she wants to be right or keep the Senate seat.

  21. Jay says

    Mary Landrieu represents a state where 31% of the population are in favor of same-sex marriage. She has been the most pro-gay Senator in the history of Louisiana. She has never voted against gay rights. One of her first votes was a committee vote that thwarted a Republican attempt to nullify a D.C. bill that permitted gay and lesbian couples to adopt. We need to support her. If she is defeated, she will be replaced by a Republican who will vote against every gay rights bill he or she has a chance to vote on.

  22. walter says

    if louisana hates the gays so much maybe a boycott of new orleans wouldn’t be so bad . they seem to like the gat tourist dollars well enough. it is really time for gays to stop spending their tourist dollars in places that hate us wont support civil rights .

  23. Paul R says

    I can’t believe that so many of you are defending this. Where do you live, and why are you willing to be treated poorly?

    More than 50 other senators have come out in favor of equal rights, many from conservative states. But she gets a pass?

  24. Fred says

    She doesn’t get a pass, she’s an elected representative of a state that we need to do more work on, it’s really that simple.

    Looking over her record, I’m impressed at what she’s done for GLBT people under such adverse and environment.

    I’m not surprised, though, at the negative comments from the people who’ve done very little for our advancement, yet have expectations based on their own personal delusions.

    She’s done more for us in that state than any of you ever will, period. Stop being idiotic.

  25. Bill says

    Many of the comments here are naive and reflect an ignornce of what it takes to get elected in a state like Louisiana. Landrieu is the most progressive Senator the state has elected in decades. She has gotten elected by carrying Orleans parish by 95%. She loses the suburbs of New Orleans but competes well in Acadiana, the parishes of Southwest Louisiana. She does poorly in North Louisiana and, if lucky, comes close to breaking even in Baton Rouge. She carries the large black vote by about 90%. With this coalition, she has been able to eke out small victories. However, Orleans Parish, which used to be the largest parish in the state, is now only the third largest after Katrina. The percentage of the black vote is also smaller. Hence, it will be difficult for her to win, especially if she gets a Republican opponent who isn’t too crazy. On the plus side, she is well liked, especially in South Louisiana. Her father, a former Mayor of New Orleans, was the first white politician to forge deep alliances with the black political establishment. She has to walk a very fine line. If she is defeated, one can count on her replacement being a troglydite.

  26. Lee says

    Wow you haters are really stupid she is up for reelection next your in LA its very conservative and I know if I was her I’d say/do whatever possible to get reelected because that’s how the game is/has/always will be played.

  27. Florian says

    I have contacted her office and very disappointed because even though it is a red state you stand for what you believe in. She’s non committal and I’m an older gay resident and those of you who justify her position because of re election are idiots. If you say she’s backed anything gay but a party than contact me at 985-714-3625 and tell me about it because I’d sure like to know

  28. Ninong says

    She voted to repeal DADT. She supports ENDA. In 2004, Louisiana passed a constitutional amendment banning both gay marriage and civil unions by 78%.

    She’s a Democrat in a Red State. She wins based on carrying 95% of the black vote and enough white votes to get by. Don’t forget that in 2008, 62% of white Democrats in Louisiana voted for John McCain! That was by far the worst showing by white Democrats in the country. Gee, I wonder why only 38% of white Democrats voted for the Democratic candidate for president? Hmmm…

    I don’t think she would be primaried if she came out for gay marriage but she would probably lose to a well-financed Republican and the RNC would pour millions of dollars into winning that seat in 2014, which will be another close election year for control of the Senate.

    So the deal is do we want her to do more than what she has already done and thereby run the risk of losing control of the Senate or do we let things be? I think we need to keep control of the Senate and work on regaining control of the House. Just remember, Republicans are not your friends. No amount of rebranding will make them your friends.

  29. jeff says

    She needs to represent her gay constituents who are having their constitutional rights denied every single minute of every day. Sometimes being a leader means going against idiots (even if there are lots of them) to help people who are in need of support.

  30. Yaoi says

    I live n Louisiana and the majority of people here are Church-nut bigots and normal bigots who don’t hide behind religion to spread their hate, but I’m gay and would love to get married one day. She says she speaks for the people of Louisiana so she is against it, but I’m a person of Louisiana and I’m for it.

    Some times I just want to sell all my stuff and buy a bus ticket out of the south even though I’ll probably end up homeless because I have no money saved up.


  31. andrew says

    Sen Landreu has done the right thing in not publicly endorsing gay marriage. To do so would probably cost the dems the Senate seat and very possibly control of the Senate. It will be a pyrrhic victory if progressives pressure her to make such an endorsement.

  32. Duration & Convexity says

    Being against gay marriage is NO different than being against interracial marriage. Not one argument can be made to challenge that fact.

    So to those of you flippantly saying “well, no worries if an elected official isn’t publically for gay marriage. It’s ok with me”

    I hope you’d be equally as accepting if an elected official said they were against interracial marriage, but we both know you wouldn’t be.

  33. Connor says

    Same sex marriage is not about politics it’s about human rights and civil rights. All humans worth their dignity should be for same sex marriage. Period.

  34. andrew says

    @Duration & Convexity (Little Kiwi): In order for a political party to control the Congress they sometimes have to give members from “unfriendly” states a pass when their votes or public positions don’t effect the outcome of the issue at hand. Be assured that if Landreu, Manchin and Pryor publicly support gay marriage it will do little to advance the cause but will guarantee the Republicans THREE Senate seats. In the last election Obama lost Louisiana by 17%, lost West Virginia by 27% and lost Arkansas by 24%. No senate democrat running for re-election can overcome those odds if too closely identified with gay marriage equality. Do you want ideological purity or control of Congress and the ability to further the progressive agenda?

  35. Bob says

    Arkansas and Louisiana are tied, in the latest poll, for the least accepting of marriage equality, at 31%.
    It takes MORE guts for Senators from those States to sit on the fence than it does for someone from a liberal State to trumpet equality.

  36. Richard Thompson says

    I now live in Maine with ReP. Sen. Snowe and Collins and now Indp. King………..but you, who got out on that morning you had hour surprise win…………….come on and lead and lead…………….you know better or lose as you will if you do not show that you are a leader…………have a conversation with Cokie Roberts if you dare………….Richard Thompson
    As Lindy always said when presented with these difficult times…”Keep the Faith”.
    It covers it all………………….

  37. Ted says

    The Louisiana Supeeme court struck down the anti partnership aspect of the marriage amendment. It left it at defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The court said gay people can form any contract that is legal between any two straight people.

    She is totally full of Crap.

    On the other hand Dr. Bill Cassidy, is an HIV specialist working in the poor community of Baton Rouge. I am an out gay republican and I have been welcomed warmly at all of his public functions. he has gone out of his way to make me feel personally welcome despite the horrid gossip mill that is started up when politicians in Louisiana acknowledge openly gay people publicly.

    Cassidy said he was open to discussing ENDA. Doesn’t sound like Mary thinks we want it.

    Mary’s brother is mayor of one of the most free wheeling gay accepting cities in the south. It’s ridiculous political pandering to say she can’t support gay rights. She was honored at our annual Forum For Equality banquet for her help to the gay community. Now she says this? Was she lying then or now???

  38. Ted says

    Cassidy announced he was running for senate and within minutes gay Facebook postings were calling him an anti gay bigot. Lies. He is a wise, kind and generous man who has devoted his professional career to ending HIV. As a congressman he has been accessible to anyone who wants to discuss any serious issues, and has always listened to my concerns for our community. He intends to lead, not parrot any party line.

  39. Scott Kjeer says

    I think we should send a message to the people of Louisiana, not Ms. Landrieu per se, that gay people on the whole have assets on their behalf that most businesses would be interested in taking advantage of: MONEY! Perhaps a BOYCOTT of ALL (yes, even New Orleans) of that state is needed.

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