Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski backs marriage equality

Murkowski is the third GOPer in the Senate to express support for same-sex marriage

By Jillian Rayfield

Published June 19, 2013 3:34PM (EDT)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.  (Facebook/SenLisaMurkowski)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. (Facebook/SenLisaMurkowski)

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski became the third Republican senator to endorse same-sex marriage, joining Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk.

“I am a life-long Republican because I believe in promoting freedom and limiting the reach of government,” she wrote on her web site. "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.”

Murkowski acknowledged that her decision might be unpopular among other Republicans. “There may be some that when they hear the position that I hold that are deeply disappointed. There may be some who embrace the decision that I have made,” she told KTUU on Wednesday. “I recognize that it is an area that as a Republican I will be criticized for.”

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Alaska Lisa Murkowski Mark Kirk Marriage Equality Republicans Rob Portman Same-sex Marriage