A Republican Senator has spoken out to say that, despite being opposed to equal marriage himself, he thinks a future GOP candidate for the US presidency will support same-sex marriage.

Despite holding “traditional” views on equal marriage himself, Senator Jeff Flake said that he thought a future Republican presidential candidate would support equal marriage.

Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press, the Arizona Senator was asked whether he would support a Republican candidate in support of equal marriage. He said: “I think that’s inevitable. There will be one and he will receive bipartisan support — or she will. So I think that the answer is yes.”

When asked about his own views on equal marriage he said: “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I still hold to the traditional idea of marriage.”

He was then asked whether he could imagine his views on equal marriage evolving.

“I can’t,” he responded. “I tell you, in the past I’ve supported repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I’ve supported the [Employment] Nondiscrimination Act. But I hold to the traditional definition of marriage.”

The question of top Republicans coming out in support of equal marriage has been topical since Senator Rob Portman who was among the original sponsors of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) recently announced that he had changed his anti-equal marriage stance.

The Senator spoke at a Republican Party event last weekend, and said that the audience was “very respectful” of his change in stance.

Already, Portman has drawn criticism from religious groups who previously supported him, as Phil Burress of the Ohio group Citizens for Community Values, spoke out to say that he thought Portman was “a very troubled man”, and suggested that he was “distraught” over his son coming out.

In an interview, the United States House Speaker John Boehner said that he “can’t imagine” he would “ever” change from his current stance in opposition to equal marriage.