A First: GOP Congresswoman Supports Marriage Equality

BY Lucas Grindley

July 13 2012 5:54 PM ET

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has verified her support for marriage equality to the Washington Blade, making her the first Republican member of the House to do so.

Ros-Lehtinen also became the first Republican to sign on as a cosponsor for a bill repealing the Defense of Marriage Act — called the Respect for Marriage Act — back in September.

The Blade reports that Ros-Lehtinen at first seemed suspicious of the reporter's question about whether she supports marriage equality. "I thought you were trying to get some tricky thing here," she told the Blade, then verified she's a supporter of same-sex marriage: "I am.”

Ros-Lehtinen's support for marriage equality had been presumed by some but never explicitly outlined. The Florida congresswoman's district includes South Beach, most of Miami, and the Florida Keys.

She is further breaking from the leaders of her party in the House, who not only oppose marriage equality but also are funding a legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

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