Lisa Murkowski’s views on gay marriage ‘evolving’


Lisa Murkowski is evolving on gay marriage. (Brendan Smialowski -- Getty Images)

A second Republican senator has inched toward an embrace of gay marriage. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told a local paper Wednesday that her views on the issue were "evolving."

"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?'" she told the Alaska Star. "The term 'evolving view' has been perhaps overused, but I think it is an appropriate term for me to use."

Murkowski said she would look to her constituents before making a decision.

Alaska was one of the first states to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, in 1998. A New York Times poll, however, found that by 2010, 45 percent of Alaskans supported gay marriage, compared to 23 in the mid-1990s.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced earlier this month that his son's coming out had prompted him to support gay marriage. He was the first Republican senator to do so; Murkowski is a good candidate to join him. Having lost the 2010 Republican primary in her state, she proved her political clout by winning the election as a write-in candidate. Since then, she has shown a willingness to buck the party line on a number of issues. Mark Begich, the Democratic senator from Alaska, endorsed gay marriage earlier this week.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Juliet Eilperin | March 28, 2013