GOP Senator No. 3 Endorses Gay Marriage But Lisa Murkowski says religious freedom must 'remain inviolate' By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jun 19, 2013 10:34 AM CDT 95 comments Comments Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks during a news conference about the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Newser) – Lisa Murkowski today became the third Republican senator to endorse gay marriage, following the lead of Rob Portman and Mark Kirk. In a statement on her website, the Alaska senator recalls nominating a military family as "Angels in Adoption" for opening their doors to four siblings in need of a home. The parents were two women, one of whom had deployed abroad with the Alaska National Guard. "Yet despite signing up and volunteering to give themselves fully to these four adorable children, our government does not meet this family halfway and allow them to be legally recognized as spouses," Murkowski writes. The key passage: I am a life-long Republican because I believe in promoting freedom and limiting the reach of government. When government does act, I believe it should encourage family values. I support the right of all Americans to marry the person they love and choose because I believe doing so promotes both values: it keeps politicians out of the most private and personal aspects of peoples’ lives—while also encouraging more families to form and more adults to make a lifetime commitment to one another. While my support for same sex civil marriage is something I believe in, I am equally committed to guaranteeing that religious freedoms remain inviolate, so that churches and other religious institutions can continue to determine and practice their own definition of marriage.