Sen. Bill Nelson is the latest lawmaker to endorse gay marriage. Just six Democrats in the Senate remain opposed, and two Republican senators, Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois, changed their positions to support. This makes Nelson the 51st senator to come out in favor of gay marriage.
In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, Nelson wrote:
"It is generally accepted in American law and U.S. society today 'that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.' I believe that. The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all.
Thus, to discriminate against one class and not another is wrong for me. If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn't those be attainable by gays and lesbians? Simply put, if the Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn't, and I won't."
Nelson also intends to sign on to petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to find the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.