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Kerry Defends Obama's Evolution on Marriage

Kerry Defends Obama's Evolution on Marriage

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lucasgrindley

Although some senators have called on President Obama to support marriage equality, Sen. John Kerry defended the president's right "to his own view, in his own time" in an op-ed this weekend.

"Marriage is deeply personal," Kerry wrote in TheBoston Globe. "Our positions are based on unique combinations of reason, belief, and experience, not polling and politics. Everyone is entitled to his own view, in his own time, including the president."

The Massachusetts senator argued that "the example of thousands of gay marriages in Massachusetts ... pushed many of us along in our own journeys." Kerry describes his former support for civil unions over marriage as "an exercise in legalese."

As many will remember, the Massachusetts senator was repeatedly criticized during his Democratic presidential campaign for taking nuanced positions. Or, for the I-was-for-it-before-I-was-against-it logic that was repeated over and over in attack ads. On marriage equality, though, Kerry says politicians should be allowed to change their minds.

"We cannot afford to be imprisoned by politics that say your views are not allowed to grow as you gain knowledge and experience," he writes in the Globe. "There's nothing wrong with acknowledging you've changed your mind when your views have evolved. Don't we pride ourselves on learning by living?"

"These seven years of marriage equality in Massachusetts might as well have been 30 years: they erased decades of myths," writes Kerry. "It's hard for a lot of young people to even understand the controversy. For them, including my daughters, the right of gay Americans to marry has never been a question."

Now, Kerry says, "It's not about a word -- it's about equality under the law." The civil unions he once supported are no longer good enough. "When we grant a right to some citizens but deny it to others, we create a second, unequal class," he writes.

Last month The Advocate reported that a group of senators, including Al Franken, Jeff Merkley and Kirsten Gillibrand, have called for the president to support marriage equality, saying the time has come.

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Lucas Grindley

Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.
Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.