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A day after Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey and on the day that fellow Democrat Tom Carper of Delaware came out in support of marriage equality, Mark Kirk decided to join the cause for equality.

What is more noteworthy about Kirk is that he is the second Republican to endorse marriage equality, after Rob Portman last month, but also one of the few Republicans with somewhat of a decent track record when it comes to equality.  Kirk voted for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010 before today’s announcement.

Kirk’s statement, which was far more direct than Rob Portman (who famously switched sides after his son came out two years prior) regarding gay marriage is still great to see:

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 is up for re-election in 2016 in Illinois (which will be one of the top Democratic targets I presume) but this helps him.

Still now there are 50 Senators who are on board with the idea of marriage equality, after Kirk you could probably expect fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins to endorse as well as maybe a Democrat such as Bill Nelson or Joe Donnelly.