Second GOP Senator Endorses Marriage Equality

A second Republican senator has come out in favor of marriage equality, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. He joins Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio as the only Republicans in the U.S. Senate to do so. Kirk does not say that he takes this position because of a gay son, but merely because it’s the right thing to do:

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 had a stroke in early 2012, which is why he says that he knows better than most that life is short. Bravo to Sen. Kirk for this simple but important statement in favor of equality.

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  • slc1

    As I posted a few days ago, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is “evolving” on the issue.

  • Synfandel

    And the crack gets a little bigger.

  • “Open mind”? “Respect”? “…for Others”? “Civil marriage”? What happened to my Republican party?!

  • thisisaturingtest

    Ok, kudos to Portman and Kirk for going against the party grain in acceptance of gay marriage rights. But Portman knew two years ago, when popular opinion was more the other way, that his son was gay; in his case, at least, I’d have been a lot more impressed if he had come out (so to speak) then, when he could have led the change in opinion, instead of now, when all he can do is follow it.

    That being said…I guess it does take a certain amount of courage to fly in the face of your party’s line.

  • doublereed

    Government has no place in the middle?

    It’s a civil contract…

    Whatever, I’ll take what I can get, I suppose.

  • baal

    I glad the a few are moving over and welcome the notes of understanding and “time is short on this earth” language BUUUUUUUUT……what about the rest of it? Where is the condemnation for the racist dog whistles or the empathy for other groups they are screwing over regularly (cuts to food stamps and vet benefits for example).

  • Randomfactor

    As of this morning there are still four DEMOCRATIC senators opposing marriage equality.

  • “I guess it does take a certain amount of courage to fly in the face of your party’s lies.”

    Sorry that looked like a typo, so I corrected it!

    It appears that Bill Nelson (D (sorta) FL) has flip/flopped on teh GAYMawwiage, now, too, also.

    At this rate they might reach 51 in the senate; then the house will have to kill it by themselves.

  • ewanmacdonald

    Marriage in the USA simply is not a small government issue. People like this GOP senator are being dishonest when they frame it as such.

  • machintelligence

    Do you get the feeling that the rats are abandoning a sinking ship? I admit I kind of like rats,

    especially smart ones.

  • Alverant

    Has Kirk paid his overdue child support yet?

  • hunter

    democommie: as of this morning, the Senate count is 53 — Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Donnelley (D-IN) have both released statements in support.

    Alverant: You’re thinking of Joe Walsh, teabagger former congressman. Kirk is what passes for a moderate in the GOP these days — after all, he’s from Illinois, the Average State.

  • bornagainatheist

    Alverant, I believe you are thinking of Joe Walsh, an Illinois representative who was thankfully beaten by Tammy Duckworth in the last election.

  • I still think that this is the best Republican statement on same-sex marriage. It is from the passage final vote on ESSB 6239 in the Washington House, which legalized same-sex marriage in my state (and which was later affirmed by voters as Referendum 74.)

    Maureen Walsh is a Republican and represents Walla Walla, a small county at the south east border of the state. It is pretty conservative, and Walsh represents her constituents’ views well. But when it came to marriage, she defied the expectations of her district and and was one of only a tiny few Republican representatives who voted Aye, after making this amazing statement.

    THIS is what “evolving on the issue” looks like.

  • So the Tealiban will have no problem with these senators, right?

    I mean, the teabaggers are focused like a (airquotes) “laser” (end airquotes) on the budget right, and have nothing to say whatsoever on social issues.

    In that vein, I’ll offer a suggested well-reasoned tea party response: “We are very disappointed that some so-called conservative senators have joined the Democrat Party in supporting gay, Muslim, atheist illegal Mexicans who want to raise taxes and increase the deficit while taking our guns and handing our country over to the U.N. Just like Hitler! Socialism!Eleventy!!!!!!1”

  • jnorris

    A second Republican senator has come out in favor of marriage equality

    and will, if we can believe the followers of Christian Bible God, burn in Hell for ever, phrase Jesus!

  • Alverant. Yes, you must be thinking of Joe Walsh. Walsh qualifies as extreme right wing of the Tea Party, an absolute kook. Kirk has always been a pretty reasonable guy on social issues: pro-choice Republican, never had an anti-gay ax to grind. I’d long assumed he’d be among the first Republicans to buck the party on same-sex marriage. He is a fiscal conservative, opposes federal funding of abortion, but on social issues he’s far to the left of his fellow Republicans in congress.

  • jnorris

    Sorry about my post at #16. It should have more ALL CAPS, exclamation points!!!!!! and something bad/stupid about Pres Obama. I promise to do better next time.

  • velociraptor

    @ Gregory at 14:

    Thank you for that. As one who has a transgendered sister, that was fucking AWESOME to see.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    I may be weird here, but I totally believe gay marriage will destroy traditional marriage. So bring it on! Down with traditional marriage.

    Of course, traditional marriage, where the daughter who is an adjunct to her father’s family is transfered to the husband to become his adjunct has been dying for some time. The increased freedom of male children past age of majority was the first blow. The proto-feminist wave in the late 1700’s and the idea of marrying for love was the second blow. Modern feminism of the 20th century was the third blow. The opponent is down and bleeding. Gay marriage is the coup de grace.

    Hooray for the death of traditional marriage! Long live what most of us already think marriage already is, which could totally include gay people.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Kirk and Portman will hailed as heroes in the future when the Republicans have taken all the credit for recognizing same sex marriage.

    I wonder what is causing their change of attitude? There must by some lobbyist money floating around out there.

  • cry4turtles

    I love how some of the GOP claim to be “evolving” on the issue. Thought they didn’t believe in evolution. Little word play?

  • @22:

    They’ve been listening to the NRA.

    “People don’t evolve, attitudes evolve.”.