Welcome to the new majority, Sen. Joe Donnelly, recently elected Democrat from Indiana.
On Friday, Donnelly posted a statement on his Facebook page, discussing his opposition to amending the U.S. or Indiana constitutions “to enshrine in those documents an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ instead of a ‘we.”’
“With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes,” Donnelly wrote, “In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all.”
There’s a certain amount of shock in the reaction. There also was a certain amount of convenience factored in, coming half a year after his election. In November, he positioned himself as a conservative Democrat who could be palatable to Republicans not settled on the tea party prospects offered by GOP candidate Richard Mourdock.
We’re not here to question his motives. Still, it’s funny what poll numbers can do.
An ABC/Washington Post poll released in March showed just how quickly the debate is rerouting. Nationwide, support to make gay marriage legal has increased from 32 percent in 2004 to 58 percent in 2012. The numbers are more striking when generations are considered, with support growing with each layer of younger voters polled.
Either way, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Donnelly is on to something here:
— Enshrining bans on gay marriage in the Constitution makes no sense.
— And the time is coming when the comfort level over same-sex unions is high enough that controversy will fade and the idea that the gay version of marriage will somehow diminish the traditional kind will be met with indifference.
Feel free to fall over yourself now.
— Journal & Courier, Lafayette