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Meeting A Loving Gay Family Helped Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Support Marriage Equality

Lisa_Murkowski

Not too long ago, I had the honor of nominating an Alaskan family as Angels in Adoption, a celebration of the selflessness shown by foster care families and those who adopt children.  They arrived in Washington, DC, a military family who had opened their doors to not one child but four siblings to make sure that these sisters and brother had the simplest gift you can give a child: a home together.  We had lunch together, and they shared their stories with me.  All the while, the children politely ate lunch and giggled as content youngsters do.  Given my daily hectic Senate schedule, it’s not often that I get to sit down with such a happy family during a workday – and I think of them often, as everything our nation should encourage.

I bring them up because the partners were two women who had first made the decision to open their home to provide foster care to the eldest child in 2007.  Years later – and after a deployment abroad with the Alaska National Guard for one of them – they embraced the joy and sacrifice of four adopted children living under the same roof, with smiles, laughter, movie nights, parent-teacher conferences and runny noses.

Yet despite signing up and volunteering to give themselves fully to these four adorable children, our government does not meet this family halfway and allow them to be legally recognized as spouses. After their years of sleepless nights, after-school pickups and birthday cakes, if one of them gets sick or injured and needs critical care, the other would not be allowed to visit them in the emergency room – and the children could possibly be taken away from the healthy partner.  They do not get considered for household health care benefit coverage like spouses nationwide.  This first-class Alaskan family still lives a second-class existence. [...]

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:  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.”

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska had been mulling over supporting same-sex marriage and it looks like she’s finally come around in this thoughtful op-ed piece. Murkowski is only the third Republican Senator to voice their public support for marriage equality , after Ohio’s Rob Portman and Illinois’ Mark Kirk.

 

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Jun 19, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 9 Comments
    • Spike
      Spike

      With all do respect, why is it that repubs need to meet/engage someone before they are willing to extend equal rights to them? Seems more like they consider themselves the gate keepers of the Constitution and they and ONLY they decide whom should be granted equality u under the law and who doesn’t.

      Fuck that!

      Jun 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      Even without Murkowski’s welcome breakthrough, it was easy enough to like anybody Sarah Palin hates so much.

      Jun 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • miagoodguy
      miagoodguy

      Who knew her “evolving” is bad but Obama’s “evolving” is good. Good to know.

      Jun 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      @miagoodguy: Given you placed ‘evolving’ in quotes, please identify where specifically in her statement does she use the term ‘evolving’. Your attempt to connect the President, this republican women and their views on marriage equality – SERIOUS FAIL. Nice try though.

      Jun 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Doe
      John Doe

      @miagoodguy: You shed light on something that many refuse to see. There is essentially a double standard when it comes how people view (and judge) how Republicans and Democrats evolve on LGBT rights. In short, Democratic lawmakers can do little wrong, even if just 10 years ago the vast majority of Democrats in DC were for “traditional” marriage and “traditional” marriage only. This includes Obama, Hilary, Biden, etc. In fact, that wasn’t even 10 years ago. That was more like 5 years ago. If a Republican evolves and support equality? Well, they are still cursed in one form or another by some people.

      It is simply a sign of how hyper partisan and prejudiced some people are. Instead of rejoicing over change…. they still look for ways to criticize their opponent (the other party). This is one reason why I gave up on our 2 political parties & no longer considering myself a member of either. To simply identify as a “Democrat” (Or Republican) essentially requires you to be a drone that doesn’t think about things with any sort of independence. Partisanship essentially trumps rational or independent thinking.

      Jun 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erasure25
      erasure25

      @John Doe: yea but Republicans who evolve are cursed by their own party. Furthermore, we are not single issue voters. I can still hate pro marriage equality GOP reps for other reasons.

      Jun 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ait10101
      ait10101

      Good for her. US politics stinks.

      Jun 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vklortho
      vklortho

      @Spike: Who cares how they come to their conclusion as long as they come to it?

      Jun 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      I wish the principle of equality under U.S. law would guide her, rather than these popularity contests. I wonder what she asked for in return. I’m skeptical, however, relieved that the dam is starting to break. alt10101 said it best, “US politics stinks.”

      Jun 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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