Kay Hagan becomes latest red-state Democrat to back gay marriage.

Another Red-State Democrat Backs Gay Marriage

Another Red-State Democrat Backs Gay Marriage

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March 27 2013 11:40 AM

And the Latest Red-State Senate Democrat to Endorse Gay Marriage Is...

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) comes out from the weekly policy luncheon October 4, 2011 on Capitol Hill

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Add another one to the list: Kay Hagan, a North Carolina Democrat, became the latest senator to back gay marriage. Via her home state News & Observer:

Sen. Kay Hagan said Wednesday that she supported the right of gay people to marry, saying "we should not tell people who they can love or who they can marry."
Hagan, one of the few Democratic senators who had not previously come out in support of gay marriage, announced her support as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on a U.S. law that denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples. "I know there are strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for their opinions," Hagan said in an interview. "But after much thought and prayer on my part this is where I am today."

Hagan's remarks come only days after fellow Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Mark Warner of Virginia came out in favor of gay marriage. Hagan's announcement is probably the most surprising of the three: Unlike McCaskill, who won another six-year term last fall, she's up for re-election next year. Warner, who is also up for re-election, represents a less conservative state than Hagan. Oh, and it was only last year that North Carolina voters overwhelming approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.