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GOP Senator Susan Collins Endorses Marriage Equality

Gay Marriage Wedding Cake Two Women

Susan Collins, Maine’s Republican Senator, has become the fourth Republican Senator to endorse same-sex marriage:

PORTLAND, Maine — Republican Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday announced her support for gay marriage for the first time after getting an endorsement from the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization in her bid for re-election.

“A number of states, including my home state of Maine, have now legalized same-sex marriage, and I agree with that decision,” the Maine Republican said in a statement issued after several news organizations made inquiries.

Collins joins three other GOP senators who have said they support gay marriage: Illinois’ Mark Kirk, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Ohio’s Rob Portman.

She had been criticized for keeping her view to herself until Wednesday. Campaign spokesman Lance Dutson says she’s consistently said the decision rests at the state or local level. She has twice voted against proposed constitutional amendments to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

It’s the third time Collins won the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

“Senator Susan Collins has played a pivotal role in advancing support for LGBT equality — from her dogged support for the repeal of `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to her critical vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last year,” said Chad Griffin, the group’s president. “HRC is proud to stand with Senator Collins, and with allies on both sides of the aisle like her, because she firmly believes that every American should be evaluated based on their abilities, and not who they love.”

This being Maine, this announcement is likely to help Collins far more it will hurt her. Now, one just has to wonder how long it will take the remaining 40 Senate Republicans to join her.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    Talkaboutcher profiles in courage, leading the way, and such… now that it’s “safe” she’s all for it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  2. edmondo says:

    What’s next for this trailblazer? Do you think she might come out in favor of women’s suffrage? Apple pie? The Flag?

    She looks like a fool and HRC looks like a bigger fool for supporting her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. @James in Silverdale, WA:

    To reverse oneself after centuries of indoctrination is a cause for celebration no matter when it happens. Sec. Clinton is a politician and should be treated as such. She is going to absolutely control the timing of that, and any other “event.”

    @James in Silverdale, WA:

    Talkaboutcher profiles in courage, leading the way, and such… now that it’s “safe” [Susan Collins]’s all for it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  4. george says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    That was both funny and sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. Tony W says:

    We are in the early stages of that time when eventually Republicans will claim they have always been for marriage equality and it’s the liberals who fought them tooth and nail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Gustopher says:

    Does she have a gay family member, or was she able to actually empathize outside of her immediate circle?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. rudderpedals says:

    @george: It’s sometimes hard to distinguish Collins from Clinton, at least w/r/t deference to the power$ that be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Matt Bernius says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Well played… #IOKIYAD

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  9. edmondo says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Now you know what the rest of us have been reading here about the current occupant in the White House for the last six years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. stonetools says:

    Oh well, better late than never, I guess..
    Welcome aboard, Senator Collins.
    Kind of wish Doug would recognize those who blazed the trial and fought for marriage equality when the yards were hard and it really cost politically to stand for the principle-but then he’d be recognizing mostly Democrats, so that post won’t happen…

    As I said before, the Clintons started the fight for gay rights back in 1993 , when Bill Clinton at great political cost, pushed for gays to serve openly in the military, so the Clintons can be said to have fought for gay rights in a way that the last few johnny and jenny come latelys have not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. @Matt Bernius:

    There’s even a meta level of irony that both James comment and my comment appear to be equally popular.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. wr says:

    She’s great at “endorsing” liberal ideas, making her a darling of the “both sides do it.” Of course, when there’s actually a vote on something she’s claimed to endorse, suddenly there’s some terrible problem that requires her to vote with her Republican paymasters.

    She deserves congratulations as soon as she actually does something for the good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I could well imagine myself having said both of James’ comments toward either politician, depending on my mood.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I stand by both comments. The linkage is this bit: “Sec. Clinton is a politician and should be treated as such. She is going to absolutely control the timing of that, and any other “event.””

    For Sen Collins The Person, let us celebrate her arrival.

    For Sen Collins The Senator, let us remember those in her state who weren’t worth the trouble until terribly recently.

    The same applies to Sec Clinton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:

    What’s next for this trailblazer? Do you think she might come out in favor of women’s suffrage? Apple pie? The Flag?
    She looks like a fool and HRC looks like a bigger fool for supporting her.

    Damned RINOs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Tony W says:

    @stonetools:

    Clintons started the fight for gay rights back in 1993

    Bill Clinton also signed DOMA which he quickly regretted – his record is checkered at best.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0