The 50th Senator to Support Marriage Equality is a Republican from IL

Tuesday, Illinois Republican Mark Kirk became the 50th U.S. Senator to support marriage for same-sex couples. Sen. Kirk is the second sitting Republican Senator to support the freedom to marry, following Ohio Republican Rob Portman's announcement last month.

Sen. Kirk made the announcement on his personal blog, saying: "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."

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

"With Senator Kirk's support, the U.S. Senate is now ready to move to the right side of history in support of same-sex couples' freedom to marry. Just as we have seen a majority of Americans embrace the freedom to marry, so the Senate is now on the verge of a majority for marriage. As members of Congress are talking with their family, friends, colleagues, and constituents, they come to understand why marriage matters to gay couples as to non-gay, and speak up in support of fairness and freedom.  Senator Kirk's heartfelt words about values of treating others as we'd all want to be treated in our precious time on this planet powerfully make the case for the freedom to marry -- and the need for decision-makers to end marriage discrimination in the United States."

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