By Amy Cherry 3:56pm, April 4, 2013 - Updated 12:54pm, April 5, 2013
WDEL's Amy Cherry talks with Sen. Carper first and exclusively about his difficult decision to support same-sex marriage.Senator Tom Carper, one of the latest Democratic Senators to announce his support for same-sex marriage, talks with WDEL first about his decision.
WDEL's Amy Cherry has more in this exclusive report.
Senator Carper tells WDEL, exclusively, he came to the decision to support gay marriage through a lot of prayer.
"I put myself in the shoes of a person, who was gay or a lesbian, and said, 'How would I want to be treated?'" Carper asked himself.
Carper says he didn't grow up in a generation that supported same-sex marriage.
"Homosexuality was viewed as a sin, and that was sort of like the way I was brought up. I spent 23 years of my life after that as a naval flight officer. In the Navy, in the military, homosexuals were banned."
That ban has since been lifted.
Carper admits, he used to think being homosexual was a choice, and at some point in his military career, that thinking changed.
"I've concluded that if you really believe that our sexual preference is a choice, largely preordained by our maker, and you believe in the 'Golden Rule' to treat others the way we want to be treated," he says.
Carper says it was months of soul-searching and seeing society change that brought him to go public with his decision.
"If I were gay or lesbian, not by my choice, but just the way that God made me, would I want to be able to have a committed life with, a person, maybe, of the same sex? Would I want to be able to have a family and have a relationship that lasted for the rest of my life? I probably would," Carper says.
He calls supporting same-sex marriage "the right thing to do" though he knew some of his constituents wouldn't like it.
"I've come to this decision. It was not easy. I wrestled with this one for months. I think I made the right decision, I hope so," says Carper.
Carper, secure in his third term, tells WDEL that security played no role in his decision to support same-sex marriage.
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