Monday, April 1, 2013

It Gets Better, Even in Pennsylvania as Sen. Casey Comes Out in Support of Marriage Equality

By Tracie Mauriello - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - April 1, 2013:

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Bob Casey today took his support for gay relationships a step further when he announced he now backs the right to same-sex marriage.

The Pennsylvania Democrat previously expressed support for civil union but had stopped short of saying same-sex commitments deserved the same designation and accompanying rights of traditional marriages.

"If two people of the same sex fall in love and want to marry, why would our government stand in their way? 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," Mr. Casey said in a written statement today.

He pledged to work toward repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

That law was at the center of a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Mr. Casey said he decided to stand up for gay marriage after receiving numerous letters and phone calls from constituents, including some gay couples who said they pay thousands of dollars a year more in taxes than they would if they were in heterosexual marriages.

Some of those letters and calls were part of Equality Pennsylvania's organized effort to bombard Mr. Casey's Washington and district offices with pleas for support.

"I just want my family to be treated equally and with respect by my state and federal government," one constituent wrote in a letter that particularly touched the senator.

Mr. Casey said he could no longer "in good conscience take a position that denies her and her family the full measure of quality and respect."

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