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Mar 27, 2013

BREAKING: U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) Backs Marriage Equality

Raleigh, N.C. - Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) said Wednesday that she supported the right of same-gender couples to marry, saying “we should not tell people who they can love or who they can marry.”

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According to the Raleigh News and Observer, Hagan, one of the few Democratic senators who had not previously come out in support of gay marriage, announced her support as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on a U.S. law that denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples.

“I know there are strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for their opinions,” Hagan said in an interview with the N&O. “But after much thought and prayer on my part this is where I am today.

“I know all our families do not look alike,” she added. “We all want the same thing for our families. We want happiness, we want health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren. 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. It’s time to move forward with this issue.”

Equality NC, North Carolina’s statewide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, applauded U.S. Senator Kay Hagan’s Wednesday declaration that she supports marriage equality for same-gender couples.

Stuart Campbell, executive director of Equality NC said in a statement: 

"We applaud Sen. Hagan's declaration of support for marriage equality and her willingness to join an ever-growing number of political leaders nationwide who understand why the freedom for everyone to marry matters," said Stuart Campbell, executive director for Equality NC.

Campbell added, "Sen. Hagan—like many Americans—has taken the time to reflect on why marriage equality matters and come to the conclusion that extending the freedom to marry to loving, same-gender couples only strengthens our families, and our communities. 

Campbell said, “We encourage and expect other North Carolina leaders to stand with Sen. Hagan on the right side of history and publicly support full equality for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituents — equality in marriage, housing, accommodations, and the workplace. "

Hagan, who is up for re-election in 2014, also publicly opposed last year’s Amendment One, North Carolina's constitutional ban on marriage equality.

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