Republican Senator Mark Kirk, Illinois, has announced his support for marriage equality today. Kirk joins fellow Senator Tom Carper (Democrat, Delaware) who made a similar announcement today.
The addition of these two Senators to the ‘pro-marriage equality’ group in the Senate means that, for the first time, half of the United States Senate supports marriage equality. Both Kirk and Carper represent states where legislatures are currently considering marriage equality bills.
In a message posted to his blog, Kirk explained how he came to his decision to support 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. Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage," he wrote. "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 joins Senator Rob Portman of Ohio as the only two Republican Senators who publicly support marriage equality.
Carper used his Facebook page to announce his support of marriage equality:
As our society has changed and evolved, so too has the public's opinion on gay marriage – and so has mine. I pray every day for God to grant me the wisdom to do what is right. Through my prayers and conversations with my family and countless friends and Delawareans, I've been reminded of the power of one of my core values: the Golden Rule. It calls on us to treat others as we want to be treated. That means, to me, that all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation, and that's why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I'm endorsing marriage equality.
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