Republicans are making a lot of weak, desperate, and convoluted arguments against gay marriage these days. Republican senator Mark Kirk of Illinois just did the exact opposite in a succinct yet profound statement announcing his support for gay marriage. Kirk joins Ohio’s Rob Portman as the only Republican senators to support marriage equality.>
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’s reference to “know[ing] better than most” about our collective mortality is a nod to the stroke he suffered last January. Kirk returned to the Senate three months ago, after less than a year of rehab, having undergone not only a physical but also a spiritual conversion. “I would say that I definitely became much more religious,” Kirk has said. He claims to have seen three angels after his stroke, although he acknowledged that they may have been a dream or “a side effect of medication.”
Kirk announced his support for gay marriage on the same day as Tom Carper, a Democratic senator from Delaware. After a rash of gay-marriage reversals in recent weeks, there are now only seven holdouts among the Senate Democrats — all of whom, except for Florida’s Bill Nelson, represent solid red states.