Republican senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, who returned to work this year after suffering a stroke in January 2012, released a statement yesterday endorsing same-sex marriage:
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.
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 switch follows that of fellow Republican senator Rob Portman, who announceed in March that he had had a change of heart on the issue after learning that his son was gay. Delaware senator Tom Carper yesterday joined the rush of Democratic senators who have evolved on the issue in recent weeks. His and Kirk’s announcements bring the number of senators who now support gay marriage to 50.