Terry McAuliffe Backs Marriage Equality, Amps Up Contrast in Virginia Governor's Race

The close Clinton adviser said he had a change of heart on marriage equality since his last run in the state.

BY Lucas Grindley

April 07 2013 4:37 PM ET

Terry McAuliffe and Bill Clinton

If Virginia's gubernatorial race comes down to the two favorites — Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli — it will be a contest of two totally different ideas on LGBT rights.

McAuliffe made clear on Saturday during a fundraiser for Equality Virginia that he supports marriage equality.

“We’ve got to make sure that Virginia is open and welcoming to everybody,” McAuliffe said, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch. The former chairman of the Democratic Party and strategist for Bill and Hillary Clinton told attendees that the debate about repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy "really enlightened me."

Meanwhile, Cuccinelli most recently made headlines for challenging the judiciary's ruling that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional.  He's fought anti-discrimination measures that would protect gays and lesbians who want to adopt and even sought repeal of discrimination protections for employees of the state university system.

Correction: Terry McAuliffe endorsed marriage equality for the first time in Feburary during a Google chat, according to the Washington Blade.

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