Michelle Nunn backs gay marriage in Senate bid

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Anointed Democratic savior Michelle Nunn came out swinging on Monday as she hopes to win the open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. She supports gay marriage, a stance you won't find many other statewide candidates embracing.

Nunn, the daughter of the guy who helped put in place the military's ban on gay solders finally undone in 2011, has been flirting with a Senate run for months. Democratic pols and pundits have pitched Nunn, who has never run a political campaign, as the candidate who can make next year's Senate race competitive.

On Monday, a day before her expected formal announcement, she ran through a litany of issues during an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. And that's where she offered up this slightly nuanced backing of same-sex unions:

On gay marriage: Nunn said she agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court decision that left the definition of marriage to the individual states. “I also believe that marriage is not only a legal construct, but a sacrament, and every religious institution has to be able to define it for themselves,” she said.

But on a personal level, Nunn said she favors marriage equality.

That's a big step for a Democrat running statewide. In 2008, when gay-friendly former state lawmaker Jim Martin hoped to unseat U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, he stopped short of backing gay marriage. Two years later, state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond backed gay issues, but stopped at supporting civil unions, in his unsuccessful run to unseat U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. Before Nunn's embrace, supporting gay marriage was left to Libertarian candidates.

Nunn will face Brando Radulovacki, an Atlanta physician, in the Democratic primary as they hope to win the nod to fight a Republican for the seat Chambliss is vacating. And those Republicans? They are climbing all over one another to go anti-gay.


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