Mark Kirk joins gay marriage parade

Sen. Mark Kirk (center) walking up Capitol steps in February. (Paul Morigi/AP Images for Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Sen. Mark Kirk (center) walking up Capitol steps in February. (Paul Morigi/AP Images for Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today joined Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in the most exclusive of clubs. They are the only two Republicans in the U.S. Senate to publicly support marriage equality. And Kirk did so with an eloquence I wish some of their moderate Republican colleagues would emulate.

“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,” Kirk said in a statement. “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 joins a veritable parade of Democratic Senators who have come out for same-sex marriage. Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.) announced his support yesterday. Sen. Tom Carper (Del.) did so today.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said last month that she was “evolving” on the issue. “We have so many issues in this country to focus on that worry us,” she told the Chugiak-Eagle River Star, “that I question why there is such focus on the simple right of people to love whom they will.” Oh, Murkowski came so very close. Until she takes the plunge and says “I do” to same-sex marriage, her embrace of equal protection for the families of married same-sex couples won’t be complete.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.
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