U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly says he was inspired by Pope Francis’ historical address to Congress Thursday and says he hopes lawmakers will take the speech’s message to heart.
Donnelly says after hearing the pope speak about the Golden Rule, he hopes every member of Congress thinks about treating others as they’d like to be treated. The Hoosier Democrat says Pope Francis’s message helped resonate the idea that Washington works better when legislators look beyond party labels.
Still, Donnelly says he doesn’t necessarily hold with every view expressed in the Pope’s speech, noting he doesn’t oppose the death penalty.
“I have not taken it out of consideration as a possible punishment but it is certainly not something that you want to be the go-to event,” Donnelly said.
And while Pope Francis stressed his concern for families – which he says are under threat – Donnelly says he doesn’t know if that was a criticism of same-sex marriage.
“I do support same-sex marriage," Donnelly said. "I don’t think that a gay couple getting married in any way, shape, or form threatens my marriage or anybody else’s.”
In a statement, Republican Sen. Dan Coats praised the pope’s message as one that transcends national borders and political divides.