U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Wednesday that she supported the right of gay people to marry, saying “we should not tell people who they can love or who they can marry.''
Hagan announced her support as the US Supreme Court heard arguments on the issue.
“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. “But after much thought and prayer on my part this is where I am today.''
“I know all our families do not look alike,” Hagan 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.''
This was a difficult choice for Hagan who faces a potentially faces a difficult re-election campaign next year in a culturally conservative state. North Carolina voters last year overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment declaring marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Hagan opposed that amendment as did many Democrats for whom she must rely on for support.