Republican Sen. Kirk endorses same-sex marriage
April 2nd, 2013
12:16 PM ET
1 year ago

Republican Sen. Kirk endorses same-sex marriage

(CNN) - Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, a socially moderate Republican, announced on Tuesday his support for same-sex marriage, becoming the second Republican in the chamber to support it.

"Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage," he wrote in a statement. "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."

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to endorse same-sex marriage. He announced last month that he was swayed on the issue by his son, who told his family he was gay.

Seven of the 55 Democratic senators have not endorsed same-sex marriage. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, announced his support earlier on Tuesday.

“Senator Kirk and Senator Carper have shown tremendous leadership in announcing their support for marriage equality," said Chad Griffin, the president of the pro-gay rights group Human Rights Campaign. "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.”

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in two cases on the issue, including a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Kirk, 53, returned to the Senate in January after spending a year in recovery from a stroke.

"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," he said in Tuesday's statement.

He served in the U.S. House from 2000 to 2010, where he voted twice against constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.

Kirk holds the Senate seat which President Barack Obama vacated in 2008.


Filed under: Illinois • Mark Kirk • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Boomer in Mo

    People who NEVER change their minds have a problem, Kirk changed his mind. Move on. His voters will decide if he stays in office or not. Ohioan is going to stroke out at some point. Maybe he will change his mind on something afterwards.

    April 2, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. MuslimOhio

    I was raised in super religious family. But there is a verse in my Holybooksays "your relgion is for you and my relegion is for me"
    Believe what you believe and let me believe what I believe.
    I believe my God create human being all equal.
    When someone try to force their believe to someone else, than when conflict happen.

    Religion is for peace and love.

    If you think your religion is better, keep it for yourself in your heart, no need to force someone else to believe it.

    April 2, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. JC

    I love how people are against something until it impacts them personally–so we're now supposed to applaud this senator for backing gay marriage, when he only changed his mind because he found out his son is gay? I'm not going to give kudos to someone so obviously self-serving.

    April 2, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. logicnothuff

    Here's why the heathen B. Hussein Obama and his army of commies are taking us over, from the Word of God:
    Psalm 106: 37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
    Psalm 106: 41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hey-ted them ruled over them.

    Word of God is immoveable and America needs to use mass impeachments all of these infanticide-aphilic heathen.

    April 2, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Ryan

    Since when has it been "sinking low" to stop infringing on people's civil rights?

    Is it "sinking low" to take up the call of American citizens asking for these rights, and equal treatment?

    Or is the GOP "sinking low" by finally following their own philosophy of limited government and keeping religious-based policy out of people's bedrooms?

    April 2, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Ken in MD

    Read the story, JC. Sen. Portman changed his mind because his son is gay. That was last week, and I agree with you on that. This story is about Sen. Kirk, who changed his mind simply because he had a change of heart. I applaud him.

    April 2, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Michael

    @Ohioan. I forgive you for judging. Love will always win out over hate.

    April 2, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. The Gayz

    The Jesus argument is moot when we bomb countries and let our own people starve. They only care about "people" before there born, once your breathing on your own they'll cast you aside with the rest of the "dependents" as takers. I as an atheist hope Jesus comes back because if he does he'll be disgusted with the people who "represent" him .

    April 2, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. candycoatedapple

    Once gay marriage is considered acceptable, women won't really need men anymore. Hetero women who want a family can simply marry another woman and they can enjoy the benefits of a two income family, tax breaks and everything else that comes with hetero marriage. They can raise kids together and live happily ever after. Men could essentially be sperm donors and move on. I really like where this is going, our nation was pathetic before, we're really going to be the greatest nation on earth once SSM is fully validated. That's right... men can come over for conjugal visits (if you're in to that sort of thing) and the women can do the "marriage" thing without you. I know that there are some men out there who might get a little lonely, but let's face it, "offering your services" with a variety of women can't be bad, right? Maybe there will be a few women who will want to marry you, but really, why would they when they can play house with another woman who will help them cook, clean and raise the kids... it's a win, win situation. There will be businesses where you can rent a "mom or dad," for your kids. Oh, the possibilities are endless.

    April 2, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. harrisonhits2

    Looks like the GOP has people starting to realize that if they want to win any elections in the future that they have to make the jump from the mid-1800s to this century.

    April 2, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Peter Q Wolfe

    If my fiance of almost six years can accept me being gay, then why can't everyone else? Seriously this is a deeply personal issue that nobody but the two in the relationship should decide not anyone else. I see the same thing with abortion like you with your guns just don't bring them in my home then we're fine in my book. Reaching a consensus that we cannot possibly agree on social issues can start a dialogue on fiscal issues in my book and that is why we're in this rut that we're in today cause not agreeing to disagree in a respectful way!!!

    April 2, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Jo

    If government has "no place in the middle" then why even both to have it codified by this very government?
    Marriage is not just about two adults, but the main purpose society blesses it with legality is to promote families and children. Children need both a mother and a father and this is what she be called marriage and protected, so that our children have the equal opportunity to be given a father and a mother as the ideal structure.

    April 2, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Drake

    @logonothuff
    Hysterical! When is your next prediction of the end of the world?

    April 2, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. nothing new here

    This man is absolutely – correct.
    Government should not be telling American citizens who they can or cannot love. My tax money does not need to be spent on hateful, discriminating rhetoric.
    Get Big Government out of our bedrooms – now.

    April 2, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Kudos to Kirk!

    Senator Kirk has a rich history of voting for inclusion and against prejudice and discrimination for GLBT people which is truly remarkable coming from a Republican Senator. Let's hope all others will be as open and broad-minded as this senator!

    April 2, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. goblackhawks

    All great Democracies fall .. due to moral decay or corruption and this is our beginning .. very sad

    April 2, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It appears that an inconvenient truth is being faced as a matter of convenience...

    April 2, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    That is very sad what our nation is coming to but no matter what the law declares in this nation the word of god and his law will stand forever and marriage is between a man and a woman the bible declares that everything will pass away except his word and does that remain faithfull will be with him forever god loves all sinners but he hates the sin and gay marriage is a sin

    April 2, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Dexter Kraife

    He said Civil Union – not marriage.

    April 2, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Eli Cabelly

    Looks like Republicans are finally starting to come to their senses.

    April 2, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. NFL

    Mark – very proud that you continue to represent all Americans.

    April 2, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Seeing the Handwriting on the Wall

    When more and more Republicans come out In Favor of gay rights and gay civil liberties then what is the extreme right e.g., teapartiers going to do? This is their main subject matter they feel they can hang their hat on in order to win elections.

    April 2, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Aaron

    "MuslimOhio

    I was raised in super religious family. But there is a verse in my Holybooksays "your relgion is for you and my relegion is for me"
    Believe what you believe and let me believe what I believe.
    I believe my God create human being all equal.
    When someone try to force their believe to someone else, than when conflict happen.

    Religion is for peace and love.

    If you think your religion is better, keep it for yourself in your heart, no need to force someone else to believe it."

    This exists in Christianity too, Romans 14:22

    You may believe there's nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.

    April 2, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. child of midian

    Guns: GOOD. Corporations: GOOD.
    Equal Rights: BAD

    April 2, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Libdumb

    Liberals be happy, I will never vote for another Republican. They have no values, morals or principles like Democrats.

    April 2, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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