This is great news. Dodd is now where he should be on marriage equality. I’m very proud of him for this. His willingness to re-evaluate his beliefs should be a model for other elected officials nationwide.
My young daughters are growing up in a different reality than I did. Our family knows many same-sex couples – our neighbors in Connecticut, members of my staff, parents of their schoolmates. Some are now married because the Connecticut Supreme Court and our state legislature have made same-sex marriage legal in our state.
But to my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That’s what we’ve taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together.
And, really, that’s what marriage should be. It’s about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love.
I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage.
And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history.
I have always been proud of my long record fighting for the civil rights of the LGBT community. I’ve co-sponsored legislation to strengthen hate crime laws and end discrimination in the workplace. I’ve spoken out against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and always supported equal rights for domestic partnerships.
But I am also proud to now count myself among the many elected officials, advocates, and ordinary citizens who support full marriage equality for same-sex couples.
Working with Senator Dodd throughout 2007 and early 2008, I heard him talk about gay marriage and the importance of equality a lot. Despite sounding so close to being in support of full equality, when I worked for him he was not there. Seeing a major politician grapple with these issues is interesting and I’m proud to see Senator Dodd now carry his beliefs that he wouldn’t want his daughters subject to any discrimination based on their sexual orientation to its logical conclusion.
I can only hope that Dodd follows this up with legislation to repeal DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, while simultaneously spending time talking with President Obama to try to convince him to move to the right side of history on marriage equality.