Former Senator Alan Simpson Endorses Marriage Equality In New Ad


When he was in the United States Senate during the Reagan and Bush eras, former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson was among that bodies most conservative members. Now, he’s appearing in an ad in favor of same-sex marriage:

Former Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican, is making the case for a “live and let live” approach to same-sex marriage in a new television ad buy targeting Western states, just as a federal appeals court in Denver prepares to take up the issue later this week.

“Whether you’re gay or lesbian or straight, if you love someone and you want to marry them, marry them,” Simpson, of Wyoming, says in the spot.

The six-figure buy, sponsored by the pro-gay marriage group Freedom to Marry, is slated to start airing on Tuesday on national cable channels, as well as locally in Wyoming, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Those states are within the geographic jurisdiction of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is weighing a gay marriage case concerning Utah on Thursday, and is set to take up another one involving Oklahoma later this month — the cases could ultimately reach the Supreme Court.

“I’m a Republican,” Simpson says. “The party’s basic core is, government out of your life and the right to be left alone.”

Simpson, 82, served in the Senate for close to 20 years and developed a reputation as an eminently quotable iconoclast with no qualms about taking his own party to task from time to time.

The 30-second ad is set to air nationally on Fox, MSNBC and CNN, as well as during the broadcast networks’ Sunday morning shows.

Simpson, unfortunately, is likely to be ignored or denounced by fellow conservatives, in no small part because the brand of libertarian-tinged conservatism that he represents, and which was quite common in the states like Wyoming 30 years ago, is out of style in today’s Republican Party. Nonetheless, it’s good to see at least some on the right starting to come around on this issue and, perhaps, Simpson will cause other conservative to reconsider a position that is rapidly slipping into an ever shrinking minority.

Update: Here’s the ad:

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    Wow. Good for him.

  2. anjin-san says:

    I miss old school conservatives like Simpson, who tended to have integrity.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    “Whether you’re gay or lesbian or straight, if you love someone and you want to marry them, marry them,” Simpson, of Wyoming, says in the spot.

    Sometimes it really is that simple.