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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 21, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 25
Sen. Murkowski evolves - Alaska Republican says she now supports same-sex marriage
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Sen. Murkowski evolves - Alaska Republican says she now supports same-sex marriage

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

In an op-ed posted on her website, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announces she now supports marriage equality. She is the third Republican in the current Senate to do so, after Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois.

'Not too long ago,' Murkowski recounted in her article, 'I had the honor of nominating an Alaskan family as Angels in Adoption, a celebration of the selflessness shown by foster care families and those who adopt children & I bring them up because the partners were two women who had first made the decision to open their home to provide foster care to the eldest child in 2007.'

The women, Murkowski says, were a military family who had adopted a total of four children.

'Yet despite signing up and volunteering to give themselves fully to these four adorable children, our government does not meet this family halfway and allow them to be legally recognized as spouses,' Murkowski continues.

'FAMILY VALUES' UPHELD
Like her Republican colleagues, Murkowski insists that supporting equal marriage rights for Gay and Lesbian couples is consistent with the party's values.

'I am a lifelong Republican because I believe in promoting freedom and limiting the reach of government,' Murkowski writes. '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.'

In March, in the midst of a wave of Democratic senators endorsing same-sex marriage, Murkowski said she was still 'evolving' on the issue.

CONGRATULATED BY HRC
In a June 19 statement, HRC president Chad Griffin welcomed Murkowski's evolution to full-fledged support for equality.

'Senator Murkowski's courageous and principled announcement today sends a clear message that marriage equality must come to all 50 states in this country,' Griffin said.

'As the Supreme Court prepares to rule in two landmark marriage cases this month, a growing bipartisan coalition is standing up for the right of all couples to marry - and there is no turning back that tide. We hope other fair-minded conservatives like Senator Murkowski stand up and join her. Alaska may be nicknamed 'the Last Frontier,' but we've got to make sure that LGBT Alaskans don't have to wait to find justice.'

In the 2010 election, Murkowski defeated Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, the official Republican candidate, to win reelection to her Senate seat in a write-in campaign. Miller, a protégé of former Gov. Sarah Palin, won the Republican primary by branding Murkowski a RINO ('Republican in name only').

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