Lisa Murkowski Hub

Eleven Senate Republicans Join Democrats in Voting to Guarantee Equal Benefits for Married Gay Couples


In an unexpected move Thursday night, eleven Senate Republicans joined all Democrats on a nonbinding vote to guarantee equal Social Security and veterans benefits to married same-sex couples, regardless of state laws on gay marriage.

Buzzfeed reports:

The amendment, proposed by Sen. Brian Schatz, addressed the fact that both Social Security and some provisions of veterans’ benefits are, by statute, provided to spouses on the basis of whether a couple’s marriage is recognized by the state in which they live. The amendment would provide for benefits for spouses for all married same-sex couples, regardless of where they live.

The four Republicans who have previously announced support for marriage equality — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Rob Portman of Ohio — were joined by seven GOP colleagues in supporting the amendment. Of the four, only Portman lives in a state that does not recognize same-sex couples’ marriages.

The other seven GOP senators were Kelly Ayotte (NH), Richard Burr (NC), Thom Tillis (NC), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Dean Heller (NV), Ron Johnson (WI), and Bob Corker (TN). 

Yesterday, we reported on a U.S. district judge in Texas issuing an order blocking the new Family & Medical Leave Act rule allowing married, same-sex couples to take unpaid leave to care for sick spouses. The order affected Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska.

Lisa Murkowski Becomes Third U.S. Senate Republican to Endorse Marriage Equality

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has come out in support of marriage equality, HRC reports:

MurkowskiToday Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced that she supports marriage equality. Murkowski joins two of her Republican colleagues – Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois – in endorsing the right of committed and loving gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin released the following statement in response to the news:

“Senator Murkowski’s courageous and principled announcement today sends a clear message that marriage equality must come to all 50 states in this country. 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.”

Murkowski spoke to Anchorage's KTUU:

“This is a hard issue … because marriage is such a deeply personal issue. 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. I recognize that it is an area that, as a Republican, I will be criticized for,” she said in the KTUU interview.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is 'Evolving' on Gay Marriage

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is "evolving" on the subject of gay marriage, or, as Jeremy Hooper puts it, is "totally going to support equality once polls tell her she can comfortably do so..."

MurkowskiThe HuffPost reports:

"The term 'evolving view' has been perhaps overused, but I think it is an appropriate term for me to use," she said in an address at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, according to the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.

Murkowski elaborated on her stance to Alaska Public Radio. "I think you are seeing a change in attitude, change in tolerance, I guess, and an acceptance that what marriage should truly be about is a lasting, loving, committed relationship with respect to the individual," she said. Her comments came on the same day as the Supreme Court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Who will be the next Republican to make the leap? Guesses, anyone?


Towleroad - Blogged