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June 28, 2010

Sen. Byrd was powerful foe of same-sex marriage

Legendary West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, who died this morning, had at best a mixed record on civil rights.  He was once a member of the Ku Klux Klan (something for which he later apologized) and filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act (though he later supported civil rights measures once he became a Senate leader).  He remained to the end, though, a powerful foe of marriage equality for gays and lesbians, taking to the Senate floor on at least one occasion to give an emotional, somewhat doddering speech on a topic for which his age and life experience obviously had not prepared him.  In 2006, he was one of only two Democrats (the other was Ben Nelson) to vote in favor of a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage.

-SS

June 28, 2010 | Permalink

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