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

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 8:07 AM The Dark Side of Techtopia
  Life
Quora
Oct. 2 2014 8:27 AM How Do Teachers Kill the Joy of Reading for Students?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 8:47 AM Season 2 of The Bridge Was Confusing, Bizarre, and Uneven. I Loved It.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 2 2014 7:30 AM What Put the Man in the Moon in the Moon?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?