Mayor Who Officiated Gay Wedding Back When It Was Illegal Is Running for Senate
The small town mayor who broke the law in 2013 by marrying a same-sex couple is running for the Senate — and he's touting his act of civil disobedience, not shying away from it.
Braddock Mayor John Fetterman performed a same-sex marriage ceremony in 2013 before marriage equality was legal in Pennsylvania. Now Fetterman is running for the U.S. Senate, and in a new campaign ad, which aired during Thursday's MSNBC Democratic presidential town hall, Fetterman is shown talking about his decision to take on an unjust law that was later deemed unconstitutional.
The mayor is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Pat Toomey. Toomey is an ardent opponent of marriage equality and has supported a federal constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
Years ago, candidates shied away from talking about same-sex marriage on the stump, never mind touting their support in television commercials. But that's changing, even at the national level, with Democratic presidential candidates chasing LGBT votes aggressively.
Fetterman faces Rep. Joe Sestak and Kathleen McGinty in the Democratic primary. Sestak is a longtime supporter of LGBT rights and was an original co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
"There's the right thing and there's the wrong thing," says Fetterman in the ad. "I'm always going to choose to do the right thing regardless of the consequences."
Watch Fetterman's ad below: