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 joined Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) as the only two Republican senators to endorse marriage equality. Portman made headlines in March after announcing his support for marriage equality after his son came out.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, praised Kirk for his leadership and called today’s announcement a sign of progress.
Senator Kirk and Senator Carper have shown tremendous leadership in announcing their support for marriage equality. It is a sign of our progress that so many of their colleagues are showing the same political will. Democrat or Republican, there can simply be no excuse for standing on the wrong side of history when it comes to this basic question of justice.
Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo took the opportunity to urge other Republicans to endorse marriage rights. Log Cabin is a political organization that advocates gay inclusion in the Republican party.
Log Cabin Republicans welcomes Senator Kirk’s support of civil marriage for committed same-sex couples. As with his Republican colleague Senator Portman, Senator Kirk’s evolution on this issue was framed in very personal terms. We’ve long said that this is an issue of freedom and fairness, and Senator Kirk’s support underlines that message.
With the Republican logjam on marriage equality now officially broken, we encourage Senator Kirk’s fellow Republicans in the Senate and his colleagues in the House to join him, Senator Portman, Congressman Hanna, and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen on the right side of history. In declaring his support for the freedom to marry, Senator Kirk said, ‘Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most.’ Log Cabin Republicans applauds Senator Kirk for making the most of his time and looks forward to working with him for many years to come.
Some 50 U.S. Senators now support marriage equality, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Only two of those, however, are Republican.
Something tells me that’s about to change. We should expect to see more and more prominent Republicans and conservatives continue to come around to our side.
Top photo: Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) endorses marriage equality (official photo)