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Sherrod Brown out front for gay rights and peace

Tom Jackson • Mar 27, 2013 at 6:04 PM

I voted for Sherrod Brown in his U.S. Senate races mostly for peace and civil liberties reasons and I've sometimes felt let down by his stances. He's let other people do the heavy lifting on drones  and has been weak on copyright reform/Internet freedom issues.

But two issues in the last few days seem to justify my vote:

(1) Brown simply owns the gay marriage issue. 

As this Washington Post blog post from Greg Sargent recounts, Brown came out in support of marriage equality in 1996, when the stance carried considerable political risk. Sargent lists other Senate Democrats who are hastily climbing on the bandwagon, Barack Obama style. Slate lists nine Senate Democratic holdouts. (As you probably know, Ohio's Republican Sen. Rob Portman came out in favor of marriage equality a few days ago.)

(2) Brown has joined Jeff Merkley and Rand Paul last week in writing a letter to President Obama urging the president to get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. Follow the link and you'll get the text of the letter. 

That stance probably carries less risk for Brown, but it's not without cost. Mindless partisans in the Democratic Party are likely to criticize Brown for working with Rand Paul, a Republican.

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