North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan is the latest Senator to publicly support gay marriage posting on Facebook that "banning gay marriage is bad for families," even though she's up for reelection in 2014 in a state that just passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. "After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry," Hagan said in a Facebook post Wednesday. Her move, the latest in a string of politicians to publicly endorse marriage equality, illustrates the comment Chief Justice John Roberts made during Wednesday's oral arguments on DOMA that politicians have been politicians are "falling over themselves" to endorse gay marriage.
Hagan notes that she opposed North Carolina's Amendment One -- which passed last May by 61 percent to 39 percent and changed the state constitution to ban gay marriage -- "because I was concerned about the negative consequences it could have on North Carolina families and our economy." It's interesting Hagan would refer to gay marriage hurting the economy. Southern politicians have long been concerned about their states' reputation for being less than accepting would make it harder to attract business. Atlanta rebranded itself "The City Too Busy to Hate" in the 1960s, New Orleans t-shirts say "The South Starts North of Here." In 2002, then-Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes said, "Keeping Georgia off the front page of The New York Times is one of my main jobs."
Hagan is not the only senator from a southern red state turning purple who's up for reelection in 2014 to endorse gay marriage. Virginia's Mark Warner backed it this week, too.