INDIANAPOLIS - Reversing his previous stance, Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly says he now supports same-sex marriage rights.
The first-term senator joins a list of two Republicans and several Democrats who have announced their support for same-sex marriage in recent weeks. Donnelly made the announcement Friday on his Facebook page.
"With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all," he wrote.
His reversal on the issue comes as the U.S. Supreme Court deliberates whether to overturn federal and state laws that restrict same-sex couples’ rights.
In his Facebook post, Donnelly cited his vote to repeal the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" military policy and his support for legislation that bars workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"I had the opportunity to act on a core belief of mine: we are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans," he wrote. "It is also for that reason that I oppose amending either Indiana’s or our nation’s constitution to enshrine in those documents an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ instead of a ‘we.’"
RTV6 political insider Jennifer Hallowell said Donnelly has consistently switched his position since campaigning as a social conservative.
"He campaigned as a social conservative Democrat, essentially tried to get Hoosier voters to believe that he was a Republican with just a 'D' by his name," she said. "And we've seen him turn his back on Second Amendment rights. And now this. And my guess is, he'll probably switch his position on the life issue before summer."
But RTV6 political insider Kip Tew disagreed.
"I think he's still a conservative Democrat by almost any standard," Tew said. "He's not changed his position on anything other than this really."
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