We’re getting there, little by little.
The Washington Post reports that congressional Representative Charlie Dent, a Republican, is now, officially, supportive of marriage equality. Dent’s evolution became complete after Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriages was ruled unconstitutional.
After a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional last week, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) congratulated gay couples in Pennsylvania and signaled his position change was imminent. But Dent, who has been evolving on the issue for some time, said he needed a little more time to get his thoughts together before making an official statement.
About a week later, he was ready.
“Life is too short to have the force of government stand in the way of two adults whose pursuit of happiness includes marriage,” Dent said in a statement provided first to The Washington Post on Wednesday.
While this may sound like tepid support, The Washington Post notes that Dent had voted for the 1996 ban when he was a state representative:
“In 1996, when I voted for the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage of Act, it felt appropriate at the time … but clearly times have changed, attitudes and perspectives have evolved, and I understand that.” (source)
To go from voting against our rights to congratulating us when we achieve them is another reason why it gets better. I expect that Dent’s voice of support will only grow stronger and bolder as time moves on. To aid in the strengthening of that voice, make a moment to whip off an email of thanks to Dent himself for his evolution. Providing encouragement to those who are recently support of us let’s them know they are doing right, and could encourage others to do right as well.
Dent now joins a handful of Republican’s who are supportive of marriage equality. It’s a list that we know, can only grow bigger, which is a another reason why it will get better.
Why It Gets Better is a series of postings showing, real-time, concrete, tangible ways that life is getting better for LGBT people.