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Published April 08, 2013, 01:14 PM

South Dakota's Johnson announces support for same-sex marriage

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sen. Tim Johnson has announced that he has decided to support same-sex marriage legislation.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sen. Tim Johnson has announced that he has decided to support same-sex marriage legislation.

The South Dakota Democrat released a statement Monday saying that after "lengthy consideration," his views on marriage equality legislation have evolved. He says such legislation would not require any religious denomination to change its beliefs, but would simply forbid government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom.

Johnson in 2005 and 2006 had said he didn't support gay marriage, but did not believe a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was needed.

Johnson's announcement comes days after two of his colleagues offered their support to same-sex marriage. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democratic senator from North Dakota, and Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democratic senator from Indiana, say they support same-sex marriage.

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