I missed this yesterday. In case you did too, House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (SC) appeared on MSNBC and came out strongly in favor of marriage equality. Although he has always been a gay-friendly Congressman, he had never made an endorsement of full marriage equality. And he was never really pushed to do so until President Obama made his endorsement and the other Democratic leaders began making their endorsements of equality. I noted in this diary that, just last week, his office was not able to say whether or not he supported marriage equality. Fortunately, though, he has come around, in full force.
Not only does Clyburn endorse marriage equality, but he explicitly rejects the "state-by-state" approach, making clear that it should be a national priority. Here's what he had to say on MSNBC:
I, like the president, have evolved to a point of marriage equality. I have not always been there. I grew up in a parsonage, a fundamentalist Christian parsonage, and I grew up with that indoctrination. And I have grown to the point that I believe that we have evolved to marriage equality...If we consider this to be a civil right--and I do--I don’t think civil rights ought to be left up to a state-by-state approach. I think that we should have a national policy on this.He also drew a comparison between the fight for gay equality and the fight for legalized interracial marriage.
I will remind you that in my lifetime, it was illegal in some states — this state, one of them — for black and white couples to get married. I think that we have seen in many churches that call themselves fundamentalist and Christian teach a theological tolerance of slavery and servitude. These kinds of things are there — there are contradictions based in the scripture that we all have to work our way through, and sometimes it takes the federal government to step into the breach in order to resolve many of these issues. It certainly did that through the courts with the marriage question, and it also did the same thing when it comes to whether people of color have got the same rights that white people have.If you want to see the full video, check it out here.
This is really big news. This means that every single national Democratic leader supports legalized marriage equality: President Obama, Vice President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Reid, House Minority Leader Pelosi, House Democratic Whip Hoyer, and now House Assistant Minority Leader Clyburn.
The dominoes just keep on falling. Support for equality seems to be contagious in Washington now that the President is onboard. Hopefully the bug keeps making its rounds.