FILE - In this file photo taken Wednesday Nov. 3, 2010, in Wheeling, Ill., Illinois Sen.-elect Mark Kirk, R-Ill., speaks to media as he celebrates his election win. Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week _ a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois says he supports same-sex marriage.
Kirk said in a post on his blog Tuesday that same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. He says what matters in life is who you love and "government has no place in the middle."
Kirk previously voted to end the policy barring gays from openly serving in the military, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." He's a lead co-sponsor of a bill to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and has opposed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Kirk is Illinois' ranking Republican lawmaker.