(CNN) - Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on Thursday joined a recent wave of Democratic senators announcing their support for same sex marriage, reversing his position on the issue and telling a Florida newspaper the "civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all."
His statement to The Tampa Bay Times quoted the Declaration of Independence and asked, "If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn't those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians?"
"Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn't, and I won't," he wrote.
Nelson becomes the last Democrat not elected from a conservative-leaning state to endorse same-sex marriage. There are six Democrats in the Senate who have not endorsed same-sex marriage. Those six are Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in two cases on the issue, including a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Nelson said he will join "the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional."
He was elected last year to his third term in the U.S. Senate.
There are currently two Republican senators, Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois in the body who support same-sex marriage.
– CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report
Why does "the lord" have anything to do with his political decisions?
If you're going to invoke the Lord, don't offend him with your manipulation of Biblical truth. Make your decision and stand by it like a man. Don't hide behind false claims of Christian sentiment.
He's absolutely correct! Above the entrance to the Supreme Court it says, "Justice and equality for all".... this is a no brainer! THAT says it all and due to that, there is no argument against.
I can see more and more politicians changing their stance on gay marriage. Overall, it's true. Why are they not afforded the same rights as everyone else? Their way of life may not be the same as yours, but that doesn't make them any less human. We need to stop bible bashing and realize that we can no longer live by the words of a 2k year old collection of stories. We need to make laws that pertain to the here and now and right now we need to assure that each and every American has the same rights as the next.
Mary Landrieu is scared to death of the Catholic vote in South Louisiana. C'mon Mary, you know you want to; for once put your principles first and quit counting votes.
Let me guess, the same people who were just giving that Republican Senator crap for jumping on the bandwagon (as people on the forums were putting it), are going to praise this guy. Because that's how we do it in America.
Using Bill Nelson's reasoning, we should also not discriminate against polygamy either. Come on, didn't The Lord create them, too?
What about Civil Unions I guess that wouldn't work even if they did get the same rights it has to be marriage what a joke.
There's no such thing, therefore said nonexistent thing has no bearing on this issue.
Another windsock reverses with the winds.
Even late to the party is good.
That line of logic would then include all aberrant behaviors.
Pedophiles,Hitler, Saddam, mass murderers, torturers, incestuous fathers, all people.
What no moral scruples whatsoever?
Amazing. Everyone develops a conscience right after election season.
How can anyone oppose equality? It's unAmerican to do so.
He clearly is not a theologian or even well versed in Scripture so he shouldn't even bring God into his decision since he really hasn't.
Ignorance is not bliss. Either follow Christ's teaching or oppose it. But affirming something Scripture condemns and then referring to The Lord as a reason for so doing shows true ignorance!
God made every living creater. The good and the bad.
Nice to see the man come out of the Stone Age, but a bit too little, too late.
Thank you Senator Nelson!
You've won my vote again.
"civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all."
I'll do anything, just don't vote me out of office.
One can also argue that God made rapists, pedophiles, and serial killers, it doesn't mean their behavior should be condoned by the State.
On another note, I think DOMA will be overturned since marriage is a civil matter defined by the states and the Federal Government will be hard pressed to argue that regulation of marriage is within its power. The federal government may assign certain benefits to marriage, but until DOMA had neither defined marriage or the rules governing who was allowed to be married.
Cant wait for seperation of church and state. Be great when these archaic, bigoted laws thrown out...
Government should stay out of consenting adults bedrooms..
stupid comment. well then if the lord made murderers why should murderers go to jail?