Which Politicians Supported Gay Marriage and When?

A timeline of the long, increasingly fast path to marriage equality.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton took different paths to the same position on marriage equality. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/8340841325/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Pete Souza</a>/Flickr

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, the court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which for the last 17 years has prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples. With new polls showing a significant majority of Americans endorse marriage equality—and three new Senators announcing their support in the last week—it’s tough to shake the sense that attitudes about the once-polarizing issue have shifted irreversibly. Even RNC chairman Reince Priebus now suggests that support for marriage equality may no longer be a deal-breaker for conservatives.

Over the last three years, dozens of politicians have, to use the phrase du jour, “evolved” on marriage equality, starting with a trickle of mostly progressive politicians and culminating in recent months with mainstream figures in both parties calling for an end to the marriage wars. (Maybe it was all that sushi.) Here’s a look at how it went down:

Update: The article original stated that Gov. Chafee came out in support of gay marriage in 2009. It has been updated with new information.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.