March 31, 2013 | by Chris Johnson
Flake: ‘Inevitable’ a GOP prez hopeful will back marriage equality
Sen. Jeff Flake says it's "inevitable" a Republican presidential candidate will back marriage equality (Blade snapshot by Chris Johnson)

Sen. Jeff Flake says it’s “inevitable” a Republican presidential candidate will back marriage equality (Blade snapshot by Chris Johnson)

A Republican U.S. senator said on Sunday a GOP presidential hopeful running for office who supports marriage equality is “inevitable.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) made the assertion during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when moderator Chuck Todd asked the senator whether he could support a candidate who backs marriage rights for gay couples.

“I think that’s inevitable,” Flake said. “There will be one, and I think he’ll receive Republican support, or she will. So, I think that, yes, the answer is ‘yes.’”

Still, when asked about Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) recent statements that her views on marriage are “evolving,” Flake said he continues to oppose same-sex marriage.

“I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Flake said. “I still hold to the traditional definition of marriage.”

Pressed on whether he could see his views changing before leaving the U.S. Senate, Flake held firm, but noted his support for other LGBT rights initiatives.

“I can’t [see my views changing],” Flake said. “I tell you, in the past, I supported repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I’ve supported the non-discrimination act as well. But I hold to the traditional definition of marriage.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr. is among the GOP public figures who’ve come out for marriage equality. It’s possible that he could pursue another bid for the Republican nomination in 2016 holding that position.

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Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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