By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com August 24 2012 4:28 PM ET
Matt Cartwright, the Democratic nominee for a congressional seat in central Pennsylvania, said that he supports marriage equality, bringing his stance in line with President Obama and the national party.
“I’m for marriage equality,” Cartwright said Thursday in a telephone interview, according to The Times Leader. “There’s no reason to discriminate against gay people. They’re not a threat against anybody.”
The statement marks an evolution from last month, when Cartwright spoke with The Times Leader and said that despite the president's new position, he supported civil unions. But he left open the door for more. He said at the time, “With respect to gay marriage, I’m not there yet. I’m very old school and old-fashioned. I’m not saying I’ll never get there.”
His Republican opponent Laureen Cummings does not support marriage equality or civil unions. The candidates are competing to represent the 17th District, covering Schuylkill County.
Cartwright credited his change in view to his run for Congress, according to The Times Leader. He said, “This is a job where you have to take positions.”
If elected, Cartwright would succeed Congressman Tim Holden, the 10-term Democratic incumbent he defeated in the April primary. Holden has been one of the most conservative congressional Democrats, voting this year to reaffirm the Defense of Marriage Act. The formerly Republican-leaning district was redrawn and now tends more Democratic, a boost for Cartwright.