Updated: 3:46 p.m., 5:54 p.m.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois has released a statement today in support of same-sex marriage.
On his website, Kirk says "life comes down to who you love and who loves you back:"
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 references his "return" to the Senate and that he knows that "Our time on this Earth is limited" "better than most." The senator returned to his post in January after recovering from a severe stroke and intensive rehabilitation.
In an interview with Illinois Radio Network today, Kirk expanded on why his perspective on the issue shifted:
"Most of us have gay acquaintances at work or at church. And we, uh - we know them. And the thought of legally discriminating against our own friends and coworkers is an anathema to me.”
Kirk also added he was also inspired by the movie “Lincoln,” about Abraham Lincoln’s fight to end slavery.
Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio announced his support of same-sex marriage on March 15, influenced, he said, by his son's coming out as gay two years earlier.
Follow Kelsey Proud on Twitter: @KelseyProud