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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer is speaking out on how his view of same-sex marriage has evolved.

Hoyer, who voted 16 years ago to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, tells The Baltimore Sun (http://tinyurl.com/8wxgvyt ) that he had believed for a while that civil unions would offer protections to same-sex couples. However, he now tells the newspaper that he believes full marriage benefits are needed.

Hoyer says his 1996 position on the Defense of Marriage Act was "probably a mistake." Since then, Hoyer also has learned that one of his three daughters is gay.

Hoyer says that throughout his career he has thought people should be treated equally. He says his position has evolved into thinking marriage has a broader meaning.

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