Here’s another interesting wrinkle from Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) imminent promotion to the Senate: She appears to have switched her position on gay marriage from a standard “safe” Democratic stance, to now being a full supporter.
Empire State Pride Agenda has put out a press release saying that Gillibrand has spoken to them, and they are glad to say that New York will have its first Senator who endorses full marriage equality. This is a big change for Gillibrand, who previously had a conventional Democratic position of endorsing civil unions and non-discrimination laws, but not being for gay marriage.
To be sure, Gillibrand’s voting record on gay rights was not anything that could be called bad. There weren’t too many votes on gay issues in the last two years, but she did vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as well as the hate crimes bill.
Gillibrand’s House district voted twice for George W. Bush, then narrowly flipped to Barack Obama in 2008. So one can see why Gillibrand was less than willing to support gay marriage. But if we’re looking at this from the assumption of political opportunism, this in turn gives us a new realization: We are now in a world in which endorsing gay marriage can actually be a politically beneficial choice in a statewide setting.