In a statement released Wednesday evening backing Obama’s decision, Reid said that his personal view is that marriage is between a man and a woman but that “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.” He added that the issue should be left to the states.
Reid said today that gay marriage would likely be part of the Democratic platform at this summer’s Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C. “The president is in favor of it. I’m sure it will be,” Reid said.
Despite the eagerness with which many Democrats have embraced the president’s announcement, Obama’s move could put pressure on moderate Democrats from states where gay marriage is still controversial.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it remains to be seen what the political affect will be on vulnerable Democrats.
“I think what most people have said is correct — you can’t tell the political purpose,” said Schumer, who is head of the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications arm. “This is an issue that has been evolving and evolving rather quickly, and anyone who can say on Oct. 1 this will be the effect is smarter than me.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.