Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), a conservative Democrat and one of the last holdouts in his party on the issue of gay marriage, on Monday announced his support for marriage equality.
“After much deliberation and after reviewing the legal, public policy and civil-rights questions presented, I support marriage equality for same-sex couples and believe that DOMA should be repealed,” Casey told the Philadelphia Gay News Monday afternoon.
Casey said he began to reexamine his position on gay marriage in 2011 and that input from his constituents in Pennsylvania helped him come around to supporting it.
Casey referenced one lesbian woman from Southeastern Pennsylvania who contacted him, detailing the financial and societal setbacks she, her partner and their children have faced from being denied the right to marry.
“As a senator and as a citizen, I can no longer in good conscience take a position that denies her and her family the full measure of equality and respect,” Casey said.
“At a time when many Americans lament a lack of commitment in our society between married men and women, why would we want less commitment and fewer strong marriages?” he said. “If two people of the same sex want to raise children, why would our government prevent them from doing so, especially when so many children have only one parent or none at all?”
Last week, according to PGN, progressive groups including MoveOn.org and Equality Pennsylvania launched a campaign to get Casey to support marriage equality that resulted in over 10,000 calls, emails and letters to the senator.