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Marriage Equality

North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan Backs Marriage Equality

North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan Backs Marriage Equality

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Hagan's statement today leaves only nine Democratic U.S. senators who have not endorsed same-sex marriage rights.

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U.S. senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina has joined the ranks of marriage equality supporters.

"I've come to my own personal conclusion that we should not tell people who they can love, or who they can marry," she told The News & Observer of Raleigh today.

Hagan had been one of 10 Democratic senators who had not endorsed marriage equality. The remaining holdouts are Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Bill Nelson of Florida, Tom Carper of Delaware, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

Hagan said she came to her conclusion "after much thought and prayer" and "conversations I've had with family members, with people I go to church with, and with North Carolinians from all walks of life." She added, "I know there are strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for their opinions."

Although Hagan has only now publicly endorsed same-sex marriage rights, she did oppose the anti-marriage equality amendment to the state constitution that North Carolina voters passed last year.

Hagan is up for reelection next year. When asked how her new stance might affect her chances, she said, "I'm not interested in playing political pundit. I've never made a decision based on future elections."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.