Sen. Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 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 McCaskillDem 2020 hopefuls lead pack in opposing Trump Cabinet picks Manchin: Sanders backers should challenge me in Dem primary The DNC in the age of Trump: 5 things the new chairman needs to do MORE (D-Mo.) and Jon TesterJon TesterSenate votes to advance Trump's nominee for Interior secretary Montana is not a ‘deep red’ state Poll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch 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 CarperA guide to the committees: Senate Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick Warren: Trump's EPA pick the 'attorney general for Exxon' MORE (Del.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyA guide to the committees: Senate GOP loses top Senate contenders How many GOP senators will stand up to megadonor DeVos? Just 2. MORE (Pa.), Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyThe DNC in the age of Trump: 5 things the new chairman needs to do Poll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate 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 HeitkampDem 2020 hopefuls lead pack in opposing Trump Cabinet picks The buzzword everyone can agree on in the health debate: RESTORE Greens launch ads against two GOP senators for Pruitt votes 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 ManchinDem 2020 hopefuls lead pack in opposing Trump Cabinet picks Manchin: Sanders backers should challenge me in Dem primary Greens launch ads against two GOP senators for Pruitt votes MORE (W.Va.), Bill NelsonBill NelsonSenate confirms Wilbur Ross as Commerce secretary A guide to the committees: Senate Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick 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.