Flake Predicts GOP Nominee Backing Gay Marriage

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 31 2013 3:08 PM

Sen. Flake: “Inevitable” That a GOP Presidential Nominee Will Eventually Support Gay Marriage

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Sen. Jeff Flake says he would be willing to support a presidential nomine who favored marriage equality

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, widely seen as a rising star in GOP circles, said it was “inevitable” that there will eventually be a Republican presidential candidate who will support marriage equality. And Flake emphasized he could support such a candidate even if he remains opposed to same-sex marriage. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Flake was asked whether Republicans would ever support a candidate who supports gay marriage.

“I think that’s inevitable,” Flake said. “There will be one and I think he’ll receive Republican support, or she will. So I think that yes, the answer is yes.” Flake emphasized he would not be changing his views on the issue though. “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, I still hold to the traditional definition of marriage,” he said.

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The only Republican senator to fully support marriage equality is Rob Portman of Ohio, who announced his backing earlier this month. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has said her view on same-sex marriage is “evolving,” notes the Hill.

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Last week, GOP strategist Karl Rove said on ABC he could see a GOP presidential candidate supporting gay marriage in 2016, although he later clarified he didn't necessarily mean the eventual nominee. “I was asked if I could see A Republican presidential candidate supporting gay marriage in 2016 and I said I could," Rove said in a statement. "I was not asked if I could see THE Republican presidential candidate or the GOP presidential nominee."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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