Hoyer announces support for gay marriage

WASHINGTON — The second-ranking Democrat in the House has announced his support for gay marriage.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland issued a statement Thursday in response to President Barack Obama’s announcement a day earlier that he favors same-sex marriage.

Hoyer says that, like Obama, he has long felt that civil unions were appropriate for gay and lesbian couples. But he says he now believes that in order for same-sex couples to be treated equally under the law, the definition of marriage should be extended to include two people regardless of gender.

The House minority whip says making gay marriage legal “is the right thing to do and will not, in any way, undermine the institution of marriage.”

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