GOP Senator Still "Evolving" on Gay Marriage

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 28 2013 1:32 PM

The Number of Senate Republicans Backing Gay Marriage Could Soon Double

141713564
Sen. Lisa Murkowski could become only the second Republican senator to back gay marriage—although she says she's not there just yet

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

GOP Sen. Rob Portman made headlines earlier this month when he came out in favor of gay marriage. That surprise announcement was followed by something that resembled a mini-stampede by some of his Democratic colleagues who had yet to do the same. Portman's fellow Republicans, however, have shown little sign of following his lead. But the Ohio senator, currently the only GOP senator to back gay marriage, may soon have company within his own caucus. Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski told local media outlets yesterday that her views on gay marriage are "evolving," although she stressed that she's not ready to back same-sex marriage just yet.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Here she is in the Chugiak-Eagle River Star:

"I think it's important to acknowledge that there is a change afoot in this country in terms of how marriage is viewed," said Alaska's senior senator, who has in the past voted to support proposed constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman. ... When asked about same sex marriage — which is currently being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court in two separate cases — Murkowski seemed to indicate a softening on her previous stance.
"I've got two young sons who, when I ask them and their friends how they feel about gay marriage, kinda give me one of those looks like, 'Gosh mom, why are you even asking that question?'" When pressed to come out either for or against gay marriage, Murkwoski said her view is "evolving." ...
"It may be that Alaska will come to revisit its position on gay marriage, and as a policy maker I am certainly revieiwing that very closely," she said.
Advertisement

And then in a follow-up interview with Alaska Public Media:

"I think you are seeing a change in attitude, change in tolerance, I guess, and an acceptance that what marriage should truly be about is a lasting, loving, committed relationship with respect to the individual."

Alaska's other senator, Democrat Mark Begich, recently came out in support of gay marriage. It's worth remembering that Murkowski actually lost her state's 2010 GOP primary to Joe Miller, a Sarah Palin-backed challenger, but went on to retain her seat by way of a rather historic write-in campaign that earned her another six-year term.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Books
Sept. 17 2014 10:36 AM MacArthur Fellow Alison Bechdel Recounts Telling Her Mother About Her Best-Selling Memoir MacArthur Fellow Alison Bechdel recounts telling her mother about her best-selling memoir.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Behold
Sept. 17 2014 11:06 AM Inside the Exclusive World of Members-Only Clubs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 11:14 AM How Does That Geometry Problem Make You Feel? Computer tutors that can read students’ emotions.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.