U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) announced Wednesday morning on facebook that she supports gay marriage. The announcement comes on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court hears the opening arguments for the Defense Of Marriage Act.
“I have a great deal of respect for varying opinions on the issue,” she says. “After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry.”
In her statement, she compares her decision to that of Rob Portman (R-OH), who announced his support for gay marriage in a statement earlier this month. Hagan joins a list of other senators who have announced their support for gay marriage this week, including Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Mark Warner (D-VA).
While Hagan makes her beliefs about marriage equality clear, she also says “no church or minister should ever have to conduct a marriage that is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. But I think as a civil institution, this issue’s time has come and we need to move forward.”
Read the full statement here.