Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)

This conversion was actually quite unexpected. Although in his list yesterday of Senate Democrats likely to switch sides, WaPo’s Young Conventional Wisdomeer Chris Cillizza listed Bill Nelson second-most-likely to support marriage equality, Firedoglake readers mostly thought him unlikely to flip.


It is generally accepted in American law and U.S. society today “… that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I believe that. The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all.
Thus, to discriminate against one class and not another is wrong for me.
If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn’t those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians?
Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn’t, and I won’t.
So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional.

The six remaining Senate Democrats, ranked by Cillizza from most likely to least likely to announce changed views “in the near term” are: Tim Johnson (SD-retiring), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV), and Mark Pryor (AR). I fail to see any upside for Johnson to announce a different view, as he won’t face voters again. Although I suppose that argument cuts both ways. Heitkamp won’t face voters until 2018: won’t this issue be way behind us by then? Donnelly ran last fall specifically opposed to marriage equality, so I see no change there soon.

At the current rate of conversion, the Senate Democratic caucus will all be flipped by next Tuesday. But don’t count on it.

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge