Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) Comes Out for Marriage Equality

Tim_johnsonSenator Tim Johnson has come out for marriage equality in a statement to the Argus Leader:

"After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation. This position doesn't require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom."

Johnson had previous opposed same-sex marriage.

His endorsement followed that of two colleagues on Friday: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. Fifty-four U.S. senators now endorse same-sex marriage. Only three Democratic senators do not: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin (D-WV) is the only one to have not made a recent statement since the groundswell of support began for marriage equality late last month.

Landrieu said last week that she personally supports it but won't back it publicly since her voters don't, and Pryor said over the weekend that he was "undecided".

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  1. This is pretty unbelievable, the pace at which our civil rights are being championed. And to those who complain that it's politically motivated, who the hell cares? We need all of this support and more to win this battle once and for all.

    Posted by: RONTEX | Apr 8, 2013 2:06:50 PM


  2. Couldn't have said it better myself, RONTEX. I don't care *why* they support marriage equality now--I just care that they do. I think it's worth remembering the leaders who were on our side before it was politically expedient to do so, but even these latecomers deserve some measure of applause.

    Posted by: Joel | Apr 8, 2013 2:11:18 PM


  3. Thank you all for refraining from psychoanalyzing the motives behind each and every lawmaker who comes out to support us now. They come out when their constituents are sufficiently pro-gau marriage to re-elect them. Period.

    Posted by: will | Apr 8, 2013 2:24:06 PM


  4. Sen Johnson, of South Dakota, is taking no risk in making this announcement. He has previously announced that he will not run for re-election in 2014. Those who want the Republicans to control the U.S. Senate after the 2014 elections should keep the pressure on Landrew of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. A three seat gift to the Republicans and a major set back for progressive legislation.

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 8, 2013 2:24:37 PM


  5. Sen Johnson, of South Dakota, is taking no risk in making this announcement. He has previously announced that he will not run for re-election in 2014. Those who want the Republicans to control the U.S. Senate after the 2014 elections should keep the pressure on Landrew of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. A three seat gift to the Republicans and a major set back for progressive legislation.

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 8, 2013 2:24:47 PM


  6. Thank you all for refraining from psychoanalyzing the motives behind each and every lawmaker who comes out to support us now. They come out when their constituents are sufficiently pro-gay marriage enough to re-elect them. Period.

    Posted by: will | Apr 8, 2013 2:24:57 PM


  7. Sen Johnson, of South Dakota, is taking no risk in making this announcement. He has previously announced that he will not run for re-election in 2014. Those who want the Republicans to control the U.S. Senate after the 2014 elections should keep the pressure on Landrew of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. A three seat gift to the Republicans and a major set back for progressive legislation.

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 8, 2013 2:25:03 PM


  8. Thank you all for refraining from psychoanalyzing the motives behind each and every lawmaker who comes out to support us now. They come out when their constituents are sufficiently pro-gay marriage enough to re-elect them. Period.

    Posted by: will | Apr 8, 2013 2:26:17 PM


  9. No, there's no point in applauding people who are using us. I mean, the support is nice. It's also meaningless. There isn't going to be any legislation on DOMA and you can bet your bottom dollar a lot of these politicians, who months ago were against marriage equality before magically now being for it within less than a year, will not touch this issue politically and aren't galvanized about marriage equality and gay rights. Say it now when you're in a safe position, either having been reelected or 1+ years before you're up for reelection. Look at the numbers and see if saying you're for marriage equality is a + for you politically. For Democrats and moderate Republicans, for the most part, it is, so that's what they're doing.

    The power of these announcements have long died. Actions speak louder than words.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 8, 2013 2:31:41 PM


  10. No, there's no point in applauding people who are using us. I mean, the support is nice. It's also meaningless. There isn't going to be any legislation on DOMA and you can bet your bottom dollar a lot of these politicians, who months ago were against marriage equality before magically now being for it within less than a year, will not touch this issue politically and aren't galvanized about marriage equality and gay rights. Say it now when you're in a safe position, either having been reelected or 1+ years before you're up for reelection. Look at the numbers and see if saying you're for marriage equality is a + for you politically. For Democrats and moderate Republicans, for the most part, it is, so that's what they're doing.

    The power of these announcements has long died. Actions speak louder than words.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 8, 2013 2:31:50 PM


  11. Thank you Senator Johnson. However, he has taken no political risk since he has already announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014. However if you want to give the Republicans three Senate seats, keep the pressure on Landrieu of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. They won't survive a public announcement of support for gay marriage in those very red states.

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 8, 2013 2:33:40 PM


  12. Thank you Senator Johnson. However, he has taken no political risk since he has already announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014. However if you want to give the Republicans three Senate seats, keep the pressure on Landrieu of Louisiana which Obama lost by 17%, Pryor of Arkansas which Obama lost by 24% and Manchin of West Virginia which Obama lost by 27%. They won't survive a public announcement of support for gay marriage in those very red states.

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 8, 2013 2:33:52 PM


  13. Sorry for the double post, but yeah. These announcements don't mean much anymore. It would mean more if it were done out of the goodness of their hearts but we all know it isn't. So it's basically doing the bare minimum. Say "I'm for gay marriage, I've evolved" in a short statement on FB or to a local reporter, and that's it. It's almost a slap in the face.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 8, 2013 2:36:00 PM


  14. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act." http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:39:42 PM


  15. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act." http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:40:03 PM


  16. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act." http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:40:19 PM


  17. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act." http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:40:29 PM


  18. @ Andrew,

    Except having Landreiu, Pryor and Manchin as Senators is NOT good for progressives (LIBERALS). If you want somebody just because they have a D after their name, you are allowing for them to control the debate. The fact is I'd rather have the Senate go to the right wing nuts, than have to capitulate to those who join the democratic ticket to pretend they are worthy of anything.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 8, 2013 2:40:34 PM


  19. @ Andrew,

    Except having Landreiu, Pryor and Manchin as Senators is NOT good for progressives (LIBERALS). If you want somebody just because they have a D after their name, you are allowing for them to control the debate. The fact is I'd rather have the Senate go to the right wing nuts, than have to capitulate to those who join the democratic ticket to pretend they are worthy of anything.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 8, 2013 2:40:38 PM


  20. @ Andrew,

    Except having Landreiu, Pryor and Manchin as Senators is NOT good for progressives (LIBERALS). If you want somebody just because they have a D after their name, you are allowing for them to control the debate. The fact is I'd rather have the Senate go to the right wing nuts, than have to capitulate to those who join the democratic ticket to pretend they are worthy of anything.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 8, 2013 2:41:35 PM


  21. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act." livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:41:43 PM


  22. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act."

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:41:59 PM


  23. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, 'I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act.' http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:42:32 PM


  24. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating --I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act.-- http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:42:55 PM


  25. Joe Manchin HAS made a recent statement about gay marriage. Six days ago, he provided a statement to TPM stating, "I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act." http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/manchin-not-shifting-on-marriage-issue

    Posted by: William | Apr 8, 2013 2:44:46 PM


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