(CNN) - Sen. Bob Casey, a socially conservative Democrat and Pennsylvania's senior senator, announced his support for same-sex marriage Monday saying he had been influenced in part by "letters written to me by LGBT Pennsylvanians and their families."
"After much deliberation and after reviewing the legal, public policy, and civil rights questions presented, I support marriage equality for same-sex couples and believe that DOMA should be repealed," he said in a statement.
The letters, he wrote, "included deeply personal statements" and "had a substantial impact on my position on this issue."
"If two people of the same sex fall in love and want to marry, why would our government stand in their way? At a time when many Americans lament a lack of commitment in our society between married men and women, why would we want less commitment and fewer strong marriages?" he asked, underlining "less" and "fewer" to underscore his point.
Casey won re-election to a second term in November by eight percentage points and nearly 500,000 votes.
He is a social conservative and Catholic who campaigned on his support for civil unions but not marriage for gay and lesbian couples. His platform also included the conservative position of opposition to gun control.
Several Democratic senators endorsed same-sex marriage last week as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases related to the issue. Several Democrats from conservative or moderate states, including Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Mark Warner of Virginia, have endorsed same-sex marriage.
Casey's announcement means only seven Democrats in the Senate are opposed to same-sex marriage, according to a Human Rights Campaign report last week which named Casey among eight senators opposed to same-sex marriage.
Only one Republican senator - Rob Portman of Ohio - has endorsed same-sex marriage. He said he was influenced on the issue by his son, who revealed to his father that he is gay.
– CNN's Gregory Wallace and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
this gay marriage issue is vey peculiar, politicians are coming from the dead to support, what about the gun control matter, is it just matter of if you don't support gay marriage no reelection and support tighter gun laws no reelection, it reminds me of the anit abortionist, we allow birth, but no a chance in hell of a decent life, you will forever be suspect,
Basically, the tide has turned. Once it became obvious that most people were supportive, the politicians ran to the front of the pack. Maybe they noticed that the repeal of DADT in the military had none of the dreadful results that were predicted. Morale has not plummeted, effectiveness has not collapsed, and the departure of half the senior officers and non-comms has not been seen. Although Obama is as guilty as any of not getting behind the issue until the handwriting was very obvious on the wall, he will most likely get credit for the change. Such is politics.
The most basic question about gay marriage is "how does it impact you?". I have a hard time understanding the religious fundamentalists when they say it would "cause the unraveling of the fabric of American society". Really? How? It sounds more like they're just trying to legislate morality to align with their particular religious beliefs. How does the marriage of somebody else impact your life? Why do you have the right to decide what's morally correct when it has no impact on your decisions or your lifestyle? I don't understand.
Gay marriage is inevitable but the Supreme Court will kick the gun down the alley. They will only get rid of DOMA, which only deals with federal benefits for Gays and Lesbians in states that have Gay marriage. As for Prop 8 in California the Supreme Court will only rule the the two courts' ruling was correct thus allowing Gay marriage again in California but saying each state must decide on its own. It is ashame America is not as advanced as Catholic Spain. it is all about equal and fair rights for all and not special rights.
Bob Casey is a man of principle but he exercised the judgement of a Senator committed to serve ALL of the people of Pennsylvania in his decision, not just a select group. He is to be commended.
...........It IS about........."Equal justice under the Law"................
Politicians will endorse anything. Anything they think will bring in a vote-forget what God said.
Some of us still remember and won't forget, (even if people in our party don't like it). God defined marriage as being between one man and one woman and I will continue to define it that way regardless.
Gay marriage is a civil right that should be afforded to all. Nobody's god should be in the middle of this fight.
! agree with @ja that there are other important matters that no politician wants to touch. Good for CO for passing laws against super ammunition clips.