Hardball with Chris Matthews, 4/4/13, 5:45 PM ET

Democratic senator reverses opposition to gay marriage

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has reversed his opposition to gay marriage, making him the 51st senator to endorse equality.

Tick-tock: Sen. Bill Nelson latest Dem to support gay marriage


And then there were six: Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, one of seven Democrats in the Senate who had not endorsed same-sex marriage, has reversed his opposition. In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times Thursday, Nelson writes:

It is generally accepted in American law and U.S. society today “… that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I believe that. The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all.

Thus, to discriminate against one class and not another is wrong for me.

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.

So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional.

Last May after President Obama announced his own evolution on the issue, Nelson told the Miami Herald that he believed “marriage should be left to the states,” adding that Florida had already voted on the issue—which led to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in the state.


Tick-tock: Sen. Bill Nelson latest Dem to support gay marriage