Republican Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Alaska senators push bill to allow Arctic drilling MORE (Alaska) said Wednesday that her view on same-sex marriage is "evolving."
"I think it's important to acknowledge that there is a change afoot in this country in terms of how marriage is viewed," Murkowski added.
President Obama similarly described his own views on same-sex marriage. Before Obama became the first sitting president to announce his support for same-sex marriage in May 2012, he said that his views on the issue were "evolving."
Murkowski's comments come after the Supreme Court this week held hearings on two gay-marriage cases. The high court cases and polls showing greater public acceptance of gay rights have led to many of Murkowski's fellow senators publicly announcing their support for gay marriage.
A number of Senate Democrats this week announced their support, with many hailing from swing states or traditionally Republican strongholds, including Sens. Mark BegichMark BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (Alaska), Mark WarnerMark WarnerSenate Intel Dem has ‘serious concerns’ on Russia probe GOP senator hits back at criticism of Russia probe So what if banks push fancy cards? Give consumers the steak they want MORE (Va.), and Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillFive takeaways from the Georgia special election Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Potential McCaskill challenger has .7M: report MORE (Mo.).
Only one of Murkowski's GOP Senate colleagues, though, has publicly backed gay marriage, Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanFive things to know about Trump's steel order Mexico: Recent deportations 'a violation' of US immigration rules EPA union asks Pruitt for meeting over talk of closing office MORE (R-Ohio), who announced his support last week, citing his openly gay son as a motivating factor.
But other high-profile Republicans, no longer in public office, have offered their support, including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Bush Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.
The senior senator from Alaska has voted for measures which define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In 1998 Alaska passed a similar amendment to its state constitution. Murkowski said the state may also eventually review its stance.
"It may be that Alaska will come to revisit its position on gay marriage, and as a policymaker I am certainly reviewing that very closely," Murkowski said.
Murkowski said that there were other, bigger topics to focus on than whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
"We have so many issues in this country to focus on that worry us, that I question why there is such focus on the simple right of people to love whom they will," Murkowski said.