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Salon’s gay marriage courage-meter

Amid Supreme Court arguments this week on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, political leaders exhibiting varying degrees of courage have lined up to announce their support of marriage equality. Some just came off of reelection, meaning they won't face voters for six years. One was a Republican prompted to change his position by his gay son. And still another was a former secretary of state abstaining from the political fray until recently, and suddenly finding herself following the party she once sought to lead.

Here, then -- with a tip of the hat to New York magazine's "approval matrix" -- is our gay marriage courage-meter. On the x-axis is timing -- who was ahead of the curve, and who just came to the party this week. The y-axis represents who showed guts and risked political capital for their support. Below the courage-meter is a short legend with background on the selections. Suggestions? Disagreements? Take to the comments section (and click on the courage-meter to enlarge it)!

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