Sen. Kay HaganKay Hagan Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (N.C.) on Wednesday became the latest Democratic senator to announce her support for same-sex marriage, as the Supreme Court weighs two landmark cases on gay rights.
In an interview on Wednesday, Hagan told the Raleigh News & Observer "we should not tell people who they can love or who they can marry."
"I know all our families do not look alike. We all want the same thing for our families. We want happiness, we want health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren,” Hagan continued.
Hagan said that she had discussed the issue with her family and thought about it deeply before reaching her decision.
“After conversations I’ve had with family members, with people I go to church with and with North Carolinians from all walks of life, I’ve come to my own personal conclusion that we should not tell people who they can love, or who they can marry,” she said. “It’s time to move forward with this issue."
Hagan follows a number of other prominent Democratic senators this week, including many from swing states or traditionally Republican strongholds, who have publicly embraced gay marriage. Earlier this week Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillWashington Post reporter compares DC rioters to Boston Tea Party Dem senator: Violent inauguration protesters ‘disgusting’ Five things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing MORE (D-Mo.) and Jon TesterJon TesterSenators introduce dueling miners bills Live coverage: The Senate's 'vote-a-rama' Dems attack Trump SEC pick's ties to Wall Street MORE (D-Mont.) announced their support.
Hagan's announcement means there are nine Democrats in the Senate who have not endorsed same-sex marriage. They are Sens. Tom CarperTom CarperPruitt says his EPA will work with the states Dems prepare to face off with Trump's pick to lead EPA Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes MORE (Del.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyLive coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Live coverage: Tom Price's confirmation hearing Senate Democrats brace for Trump era MORE (Pa.), Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellySenators introduce dueling miners bills Government to begin calling Indiana residents Hoosiers Pence meets with Kaine, Manchin amid Capitol Hill visit MORE (Ind.), Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (S.D.), Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampSenate Democrats brace for Trump era Senators introduce dueling miners bills A small business executive order: Justification for regulation MORE (N.D.), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (La.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Cybersecurity: Dems split on Manning decision | Assange looking to make deal What we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Manning commutation sparks Democratic criticism MORE (W.Va.), Bill NelsonBill NelsonMeet Trump's secret weapon on infrastructure Live coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Trump's Commerce pick admits to unknowingly hiring undocumented worker MORE (Fla.) and Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (Ark.).
The spate of announcements come as the Supreme Court weighs the constitutionality of laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman and denying benefits to same-sex couples.
On Tuesday, the high court considered a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, and on Wednesday is considering the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Hagan is up for reelection in 2014 in a state that passed an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Hagan said that her reelection was not a factor in her announcement.
"I’ve never made a decision based on future elections," Hagan said to the North Carolina newspaper. "I’m not interested in that. I’m not interested in casting aspersions on those who view this differently."
Updated at 11:53 a.m.