Wikimedia CommonsU.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, announced his support for gay marriage on Tuesday, becoming the second sitting Republican Senator to change his position.
“When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others,” said Kirk, who returned to the Senate in January about a year after suffering a stroke.
“Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back — government has no place in the middle.”
Kirk’s endorsement comes as the Supreme Court prepares to decide on two landmark cases involving gay marriage — on California’s Proposition 8 law and on the federal defence of Marriage Act.
Kirk became the second Republican Senator to endorse gay marriage. He joins Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who announced his shift last month almost two years after his son came out to him as gay.
Also on Tuesday, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) became the latest Democrat to endorse same-sex marriage, announcing his shift on his Facebook page.
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