{{show_title_date || "Politicians continue to evolve their stance on same-sex marriage, 6/20/13, 12:08 PM ET"}}

Support for same sex marriage grows ahead of Supreme Court decisions


Ahead of two major decisions on same-sex marriage from the Supreme Court, another Republican politician is publicly supporting the unions between gay couples.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says her conservative beliefs led her to the conclusion to support same-sex marriage. She made the announcement in an opinion piece posted to her website saying “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 is the third Republican senator to announce support for marriage equality, joining Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, and Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.

“That notion of commitment and commitment to the family unit and keeping the government out of the way, I think those are great arguments that marriage is, at the end of the day, a conservative principle,” said Ben LaBolt, former national press secretary for the Obama Campaign, Thursday on Jansing & Co. “Hundreds of Republicans have signed the amicus brief in support of marriage equality before the Supreme Court. I’ve never seen public opinion on an issue move so quickly in my lifetime.”

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia. And the latest polls show a slim majority of Americans now say it should be legal for same-sex couples to marry.

Murkowski’s announcement shows how more Republicans are evolving on the issue, just as President Obama did on May 9 last year when he publicly announced his support for same-sex marriage.

“I know this was a process for him over time,” LaBolt told msnbc’s Chris Jansing. “I think at the end of the day, in conversations with gay friends, in conversations with gay staffers, seeing those committed relationships, the president was moved to support marriage equality.”

Some equal rights advocates are calling on Obama, the first sitting president to publicly endorse same-sex marriage, to do more. Earlier this month, a heckler interrupted first lady Michelle Obama during her speech at a private Democratic National Committee speech. The heckler demanded the president sign an executive order on LGBT rights.

“Just look at the record during his first term,” LaBolt said, highlighting Obama’s accomplishments for the LGBT community. “Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was certainly a signature accomplishment…He advanced hospital visitation visits for gay couples. He advanced equality protections within the federal government. The Justice Department has stopped defending the Defense of Marriage Act which is being considered before the Supreme Court.”

Support for same sex marriage grows ahead of Supreme Court decisions