Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman who's considering a challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), spoke tonight before the Stonewall Democrats' New York City chapter, one of the largest gay political organizations in the state. For Ford, who in 2004 voted for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, it was a test of his mettle in the face of those who may be his most fervent opponents.
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Ford now says he supports marriage equality and tonight -- despite boos, chants and signs reading "Snake Oil Harry" -- he defended his change of mind.
"I freely admit there are issues I've evolved on," he said.
"The position I hold now is the right one," he said later, and pointed out that over the last 10 years, public support for gay marriage has increased.
"The reason the numbers and the support continues to go up is because of people like me, who change their minds," he said.