Shannon O'Brien, the Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts, said Tuesday that while she does not support gay marriage, if backers were to rally enough support to push a gay marriage bill through the legislature, as governor she would sign it into law. O'Brien has in the past stated her support for civil unions for same-sex couples, but she took that stand a step further on Tuesday by telling a group of gay rights advocates, including gay U.S. representative Barney Frank and lesbian state senator Cheryl Jacques, that as governor she would sign a gay marriage bill.
O'Brien's Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, opposes both gay marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples. Gay marriage legislation is unlikely to pass in Massachusetts any time soon, but the topic is controversial for many gays and lesbians who support it and many conservatives who oppose it.
Robert Reich, O'Brien's Democratic opponent in the gubernatorial primary, earned headlines in June when he came out in support of gay marriage.