Gay Marriage | John Hawkins | News | South Carolina

SC Senator Who Led Charge to Pass Gay Marriage Ban Says He Was Wrong, Supports Equality: VIDEO


Former South Carolina State Senator John Hawkins, who led the charge in South Carolina to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage, announced on Wednesday at a speech before the Alliance for Full Acceptance that he now regrets what he did and supports full marriage equality.

Said Hawkins to WCSC: "I was wrong about pursing the marriage amendment. I wish I hadn't been so strident against it....I'm really hoping that people are going to walk away from this with a little bit of healing...It would be great if everyone who stood against us in the Senate said, 'We were wrong; In fact, you really do deserve equal rights.'"

Hawkins served in the state Senate for eight years, from 2001 to 2009 and now works as an attorney.

Watch Hawkins' full speech and a WCSC report, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via the advocate)

Sc_hawkins | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

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  1. Well...thank you.

    Posted by: Yeek | Sep 20, 2013 10:06:09 AM

  2. OK . . . I'm curious . . . why would a rabid homophobe change his stripes?

    And secondly, why do these bigots see the light once they are out of public office?

    Posted by: Continuum | Sep 20, 2013 10:07:39 AM

  3. Great. Really It may well turn out that he's a closet-case (or not). Doesn't matter now. He's doing the right thing.

    Posted by: Geoff | Sep 20, 2013 10:20:28 AM

  4. @Continuum
    Summary: I'm not sure he was a rabid homophone but an attorney that came at it from a legal perspective and thought it should be decided by a voter-approved constitutional amendment. He also represented a very conservative district. But, basically that was 8 years ago. He evolved and wanted to come out publicly for gay marriage for his daughters.

    Posted by: kirkyo | Sep 20, 2013 10:29:30 AM

  5. You're sorry now? Well big deal. "I'm sorry" doesn't cut it. It doesn't do anything to undo the very real, pervasive, and lasting harm your advocacy for discrimination did to law-abiding tax-paying LGBT citizens. You know who's really "sorry"? Those people and their kids, still living every day with the adversity that you foisted upon them. So f you. F you to death, until you do something to fix the harm you caused to so many innocent people, you pile of filth.

    Posted by: screamingqueen | Sep 20, 2013 10:36:34 AM

  6. Thinly veiled attempt at clenching the spotlight he once had. He's about as sincere as a bag of snakes.

    Posted by: MikeSin | Sep 20, 2013 10:49:12 AM

  7. Mr. Hawkins, words are pretty. What are you going to do to show the world that that this is an actual change of heart?

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Sep 20, 2013 10:59:55 AM

  8. there's an old central european proverb, teach your grandmother to suck eggs. it may be assumed granny knows full well how to get the good stuff out of the eggs and has known how since before the recipient was born. why is he trying to "educate" an audience an audience full of people who know full well what they were up against, most of whom could give him a list of ideas that permeate the prejudices of the south and people in general that drive homophobia. i can reel off 4 or 5 that he never thought off.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Sep 20, 2013 11:23:08 AM

  9. He's an evil, opportunistic pig who deserves our contempt.

    Ken Mehlman-esque in fact.

    While in a position of influence he damaged the human and civil rights of thousands but 'evolves' once out of public life.

    He deserves a life of utter misery.

    Posted by: MaryM | Sep 20, 2013 11:25:54 AM

  10. How come when anyone says they were sorry for what they did or would like to change the damage they've done, people on this site can't forgive?

    I know you're suppose to wait for the actions of their words, but on all this stories posted on this blog, most of the comments are about throwing knives.

    Posted by: Jonas12 | Sep 20, 2013 11:37:55 AM

  11. i don't recall him apologizing directly to this audience for harm he may have cause to them in particular, just a general i am sorry i was not on the morally right side. somewhere in there ought to have been the words "i am deeply sorry for any harm i may have caused you, and i hope i have a chance to make it right by you". THAT is an apology...

    Posted by: bandanajack | Sep 20, 2013 11:41:13 AM

  12. @Jonas12 - I am perfectly happy to forgive, as long as there is more to the apology than just words: one cannot throw garbage, apologize for throwing garbage, then do nothing to clean up the garbage that was thrown. Nor should anyone be expected to forget the fact that HE was the one throwing garbage.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Sep 20, 2013 11:43:26 AM

  13. JONAS12 Seriously, stop b*tching about other people's comments and actually contribute one of your own that is pertinent to the issue. I personally can't stand the contrarians constantly telling commenters to "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" every time someone has an opinion. The purpose of these sites is to vent, not be talked down to by some righteous nobody.

    Posted by: MikeSin | Sep 20, 2013 11:50:45 AM

  14. "OK . . . I'm curious . . . why would a rabid homophobe change his stripes? "

    When they do, it is usually because they discover that a close family member (i.e., one of their children) or friend is gay.

    I don't know if that is the case here, but it could be.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 20, 2013 11:57:42 AM

  15. Good for him. One person at a time, the world is changing. We should be happy that the guy has evolved. His peers are going to see and hear him on this and perhaps their hearts and minds will change as well.

    Posted by: Sam | Sep 20, 2013 12:04:24 PM

  16. Unfortunately is too late. Maybe someone will be able to forgive him, not me.

    Posted by: lukebrux | Sep 20, 2013 12:13:27 PM

  17. I can't believe I'm gonna say this but here goes: I agree with Rick: when people have a change of heart about this issue, it's often due to their discovering that they have a loved-one who is gay.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Sep 20, 2013 12:57:42 PM

  18. Gay people have short attention spans.

    Posted by: Marc C | Sep 20, 2013 1:05:26 PM

  19. So let me get this right, this guy admits he was wrong to push for a constitutional amendment in his state to ban gay marriage, admits now he was totally wrong, and people can't accept his apology and are trashing him, but everyone adores (and accepts his apology) former President Clinton even though he pushed for and signed DOMA into law to help him win reelection in 1996? Convenient political hypocrites much?

    Posted by: Charlie | Sep 20, 2013 1:06:51 PM

  20. @CHARLIE, so you're saying that some other people forgave Clinton, therefore commenters here are hypocrites if they don't forgive this creep.

    I don't think hypocrite means what you think it means.

    Posted by: JJ | Sep 20, 2013 1:23:38 PM

  21. @JONAS12,

    1. It's pretty craven to forgive someone when the harm he's caused is ongoing.
    2. It's reasonable to insist that he earn forgiveness. "Because it's time" isn't a good reason.
    3. Unless you're living in SC and suffering the harm he's caused, who are you to decide when he's earned forgiveness?

    Posted by: JJ | Sep 20, 2013 1:34:45 PM

  22. The problem with those questions is the questions you aren't asking yourself.

    Forgiveness isn't primarily for the person asking to be forgiven. It's for YOU. Because YOU need to dispense with that anger, that vindictiveness, that bile inside YOU that's polluting your own perception of your self and the world.

    What you're displaying isn't a question of forgiveness, it's a question of vengeance, retribution, and judgement veiled as some sort of longing for a non existent kind of justice.

    Move on. His saying "I was wrong -so very wrong" puts pressure on the officials in public life now, gets people talking and thinking, and is a step in the evolution.

    Or you can be angry and bitter and long for some sort of vengeance that will probably never come, and even if it does, in whatever form, will probably never be "enough", because that'st he nature of vengeance, it's never, ever really "enough".

    Forgiveness is for the people doing the forgiving as much as it is for those asking to be forgiven.

    You can choose to not be a victim by choosing to let-go. Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting necessarily, but it does mean getting on with your emotional life in a healthy way.

    Posted by: UGH | Sep 20, 2013 2:09:49 PM

  23. Did he say "pursuing" and not "pursing?"

    Posted by: Alan | Sep 20, 2013 2:22:29 PM

  24. He's like a lot of legislators that are clueless about the damage done by their legislative actions. That's how the GOP can defund SNAP by $39B and not answer for 1 in 6 kids in America going to bed hungry at night.
    Or the 500,000 homeless LGBT kids. It's not their kids.

    Real harm to real people.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Sep 20, 2013 5:50:59 PM

  25. He is not seeking re-election, he has had the courage to frankly speak out and admit he was wrong, he concurs his business may suffer from a backlash by taking a stance which continues to be unpopular with a majority in the South - why are so many here being so bitter and vile towards him?

    More power to his elbow.

    Posted by: Mundus | Sep 20, 2013 6:01:16 PM

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