Claire McCaskill Jumps on the Marriage Equality Train


Recent polls show majority support for marriage equality, a rapid change from just a few years ago. Unfortunately, the same isn't true of Congress. The same malapportionment that gives Republicans a structural advantage in the House and Senate also overweights the votes of social conservatives, who tend to reside in the nation's more rural areas. Congress will eventually voice its support for same-sex marriage, but it will lag behind the country as a whole.

For this reason, it's worth noting Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill's support for marriage equality, announced yesterday afternoon on her Tumblr.

In some sense, there's nothing remarkable about a Democratic politician announcing support for marriage equality—between President Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and others, it's the mainstream position of the party. Whoever is the nominee in 2016 will almost certainly support same-sex marriage, and may even push for a national law to codify the right.

Even still, it's not as if McCaskill has ever been on the vanguard of the Democratic Party. She is the definition of a cautious politician, and for good reason. She represents a red state that gave the large majority of its votes to Mitt Romney in last year's presidential election, and she would have lost her bid for a second-term if not for the offensive views and aggressive incompetence of her opponent.

It's one thing for a blue state politician to announce support for marriage equality, it's something different for a red state lawmaker—on either side—to do the same. McCaskill's decision to endorse same-sex marriage—couched in the language of the New Testament—is a sign that this has nearly vanished from the list of "divisive" concerns. On this issue, at least, Americans are content to live and let live, and that has allowed a growing number of politicians to actually do the right thing.