Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois on Tuesday became the second Republican senator to voice support for same-sex marriage.
Kirk, who suffered a severe stroke last year and returned to the chamber in January, said "government has no place in the middle" of two people in love, regardless of gender.
"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."
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman became the first Republican senator to reverse his position on legalizing same-sex marriage last month. As of this writing, only seven Democrats in the chamber still oppose changing the definition of marriage.