Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican Senator, Voices Support For Gay Marriage
Lisa Murkowski became the third Republican senator to come out in support of same sex-marriage on Wednesday. Murkoski, who represents Alaska in the U.S. Senate, announced her position on the hot-button social issue during an interview with Anchorage NBC affiliate KTUU. She also posted a statement to her website explaining her support.
"I want to be absolutely clear with Alaskans," her statement reads. "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,” Murkowski continued. “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."
Murkowski went on to state that her position on same-sex marriage was inspired in part by an interaction with a lesbian couple from Alaska. The pair, a military couple, are raising four adopted foster siblings as their own. Murkowski broke down all of the impediments banning same-sex marriage creates for the security of their family. She lists emergency room visitation, custody problems in the event of the death of one of the partners and family medical coverage among the issues the partners face without legal recognition.
"If there is one belief that unifies most Alaskans – our true north – it is less government and more freedom," she wrote in her statement. "We don't want the government in our pockets or our bedrooms; we certainly don't need it in our families."
Murkowski joins fellow Republican Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) who have previously come out in support of same-sex marriage. Fifty-one Senate Democrats have also voiced support for marriage equality.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce their ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) next week.
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