Third GOP Senator Backs Gay Marriage

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 19 2013 10:55 AM

Washington Now Has Three Republican Senators Who Support Gay Marriage

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (R) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) hold a news conference to propose new campaign finance legislation at the U.S. Capitol April 23, 2013 in Washington

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sens. Rob Portman and Mark Kirk now have company: On Wednesday, Lisa Murkowski became the third Republican senator to support allowing gays and lesbians to wed:

"I am a life-long Republican because I believe in promoting freedom and limiting the reach of government.  When government does act, I believe it should encourage family values.  I support the right of all Americans to marry the person they love and choose because I believe doing so promotes both values:  it keeps politicians out of the most private and personal aspects of peoples’ lives – while also encouraging more families to form and more adults to make a lifetime commitment to one another.  While my support for same sex civil marriage is something I believe in, I am equally committed to guaranteeing that religious freedoms remain inviolate, so that churches and other religious institutions can continue to determine and practice their own definition of marriage."
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The Alaska Republican had suggested earlier this year that she was still "evolving" on the issue. You can read her full statement here. Her announcement comes only days before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on Prop 8 and DOMA.

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