Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) strongly backed President Barack Obama’s support for gay marriage rights Wednesday, despite saying he personally believes marriage “is between a man and a woman.”
“My personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Reid began. “But in a civil society, I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they want, and it’s no business of mine if two men or two women want to get married. The idea that allowing two loving, committed people to marry would have any impact on my life, or on my family’s life, always struck me as absurd.”
Reid, like Obama, said he has talked with his children about the issue.
“In talking with my children and grandchildren, it has become clear to me they take marriage equality as a given. I have no doubt that their view will carry the future.”
And like Obama, Reid said he believes the issue should be decided by the states.
“I handled a fair amount of domestic relations work when I was a practicing lawyer, and it was all governed by state law,” he said. “I believe that is the proper place for this issue to be decided as well.”
Reid, who is a Mormon, voted for the Defense of Marriage Act but against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He also had previously criticized the Mormon church for spending money to ban gay marriage in California.
On January 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., raises her right hand as her son Henry messes up her hair while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers the ceremonial swearing-in in the Old Senate Chamber. Gillibrand's other son Theodore, lower right, looks on.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.