Harold Ford Reverses On Marriage

Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford, who announced last week that he is considering running for Kirsten Gillibrand’s Senate seat in New York, was one of 34 Democrats who voted for the Federal Marriage Act. But this morning he told Matt Lauer on the Today Show that he’s changed his mind.

Host Matt Lauer asked, “So you’re now in favor of same sex marriage?” “Civil unions and same-sex marriage, yes,” Ford said. Ford also said there’s a “fiction” in language between civil unions and same-sex marriages, and that he now supports gay nuptials because it’s the best way to keep equal benefits flowing. Saying he supported civil unions when he ran for Congress in Tennessee in 1996, Ford said, “My support for fairness and equality existed long before I moved to New York.” Asked by host Matt Lauer if it was a “change” in position, he invoked Chuck Schumer and Bill Clinton, saying: “Maybe in the language. But I’m a believer that benefits should flow to same sex partners and if indeed the fiction of the language, the title, should be changed, much like Chuck Schumer who changed his mind on it and Bill Clinton’s evolved, I’m of the opinion now that nothing is wrong with that.”

In 2006 Ford unsuccessfully ran for the Senate from Tennessee, after which he moved to New York.