Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk announced his support for same-sex marriage today, becoming the second Senate Republican to endorse marriage equality.
"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," Kirk wrote on his blog.
"Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this Earth is limited, I know that better than most," Kirk continued. "Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back-- government has no place in the middle."
There are now 50 U.S. senators who support same-sex marriage. Earlier today, Sen. Tom Carper (Del.) became the latest in a flood of Senate Democrats to endorse same-sex marriage as the Supreme Court considers two landmark cases. Last month, Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) became the first Senate Republican to support same-sex marriage after learning that his son is gay.
Kirk, much like Carper, is from a state considering marriage-equality legislation. The Illinois Senate approved same-sex marriage legislation on Valentine’s Day, but the bill has not yet been considered by the Illinois House of Representatives.
[Photo: Mark Kirk (Courtesy of the U.S. Senate)]