TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Illinois Republican backs same-sex marriage

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 9:30 p.m.

CHICAGO — GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois on Tuesday became the second sitting Republican senator to endorse gay marriage — a move that could shift the political debate over legalizing gay marriage in Kirk's home state.

Kirk, who has opposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, said in a post on his blog that “same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage.”

“Our time on this Earth is limited; I know that better than most,” said Kirk, who suffered a stroke in January 2012. “Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back — government has no place in the middle.”

Kirk went through months of rehabilitation before returning to work in Washington in January. He said in his blog post that he promised himself he would return “with an open mind and greater respect for others.”

Kirk is Illinois' ranking Republican lawmaker. His announcement brings to 50 the number of senators — the vast majority of them Democrats — who are on record in support of gay marriage, according to Freedom to Marry, a group that supports gay marriage.

It occurs a week after the Supreme Court held two days of oral arguments on the subject, and as the Illinois Legislature is giving final consideration to a measure that would make Illinois the 10th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage.

The Illinois Senate voted in February to lift a state ban on same-sex marriage. The legislation was approved by a House committee, but has yet to be called for a floor vote. Speaker of the House Michael Madigan said recently he believes supporters are a dozen votes short of what they need for the bill to pass.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he would sign the measure.

Kirk's announcement could give political cover to Republicans in the Illinois House who are considering a yes vote but are fearful of a backlash — or a primary challenge — from social conservatives.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Drug crime reclassification to help ex-cons get vote rights
  2. ‘Patriots’ back Nevada rancher; Reid labels them ‘domestic terrorists’
  3. Automaker GM’s wait on Saturn Ion safety recall took years
  4. Health care law enrollee passwords at risk for Heartbleed Internet security flaw, feds warn
  5. IRS, other agencies award contracts to license plate tracking company
  6. Mauling puts bears back on firing line in Central Florida
  7. Washington’s snowy owl recovers from apparent bus crash, returns to wild
  8. Recovery expert believes wreckage of missing plane located
  9. Fox fires exec who used email to plan aid
  10. First date in New Jersey ends with him pilfering her TV and Yorkshire terrier
  11. Ohio couple married for 70 years dies just 15 hours apart
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.