Voice for Equality: Tom Harkin


Tom Harkin is the junior senator from Iowa. Senator Harkin attended Iowa State University before serving in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He was also a member of a congressional delegation to Vietnam; the photographs he took during this trip helped to expose Vietnamese abuse of POWs. After his 5 years in the Navy, Senator Harkin attended Catholic University School of Law. In 1972, he was elected as U.S. Congressman for southwestern Iowa, a position he would hold for four more terms.

In 1984, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, a position he has held for five terms, making him the longest serving Democratic senator in Iowa’s history. In 1992, Harkin ran for President and ended up winning both the Idaho and Minnesota primaries. Senator Harkin is currently the Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and a member of the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Senator Harkin was asked about this year’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling in support of marriage equality. He responded on an Iowa television show, Iowa Press, that:

"We all grow as we get older, and we learn things and we become more sensitive to people and people’s lives. And the more I’ve looked at that, I’ve grown to think differently about how people — how we should live. And I guess I’m at the point of live and let live.”

“There’s always going to be some who feel that they have to push this issue, and for whatever reason, they’re going to try to push it and try to divide people up, but they’re on the losing end. They’re on the losing end of history.”


Freedom to Marry salutes Senator Tom Harkin as a Voice for Equality!

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