Pryor reaffirms opposition to gay marriage


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., reaffirmed his personal opposition to gay marriage Wednesday and offered no indication that his view would shift as it has for other political leaders in recent days.

“I oppose same-sex marriage,” Pryor said Wednesday during a conference call with Arkansas reporters. “I’ve been very clear about that for a very long time. That’s the way I will vote. If that’s what it comes down to, that’s where I am.”

In the last month, 14 U.S. senators — 13 Democrats — who previously voiced opposition to same-sex marriage have announced they now support the right of gay men and women to marry. So far, just three Senate Democrats have said publicly they oppose it — Pryor, Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who may run for president in 2016, has also announced that she now supports same-sex marriage.

The reversals came as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional. The law, enacted in 1996 under former President Bill Clinton, prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

Pryor was more circumspect about whether, short of marriage, he would support legislation to extend legal benefits to same-sex couples. Those questions, he said, would have to wait to see exactly what the nation’s highest court rules this summer.

“It’s very possible later this year we’ll have to look at it,” Pryor said.