Olympia Snowe: The Former Republican Senator Now Backs Gay Marriage


Olympia Snowe, a three-term Republican Senator from Maine who did not seek re-election last year, now says her views on same-sex marriage have evolved. While the age-old saying, “It’s better late than never” comes to mind, don’t you find yourself wanting to scream, “Woman, why couldn’t you have realized this when you still had power?”

Still, it should be noted that during the 2012 election voters in her state overturned a ban on same-sex marriage by 53% to 47%, and gays and lesbians now can marry there. So we’re glad that Snowe is playing catch up, even though she hadn’t previously supported this provision. Prior to the election last November, she told reporters “it is left to individual states through the legislature or referenda to make their own determinations on this personal issue.”

But she has now seen the light. “I think obviously this has evolved over time on the whole issue for the whole country and the nations,” Snowe told CNN Friday. “We’ve seen a sea change in society’s whole attitude on this particular issue and it’s only natural for government to be responsive to those changes.”

Snowe added that she no longer supports the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law barring marriage between gays and lesbians that she voted for in 1996. The law is currently being contested at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It’s up to the court now to make that decision, and depending on their decision I think ultimately other decisions will have to be made,” Snowe said.

And that doesn’t sound like a snow job. Welcome to the team, Olympia.