SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says he supports marriage equality.

Asked how he came to the decision to support same-sex marriage, Kirk said the country is ready for it. “The gay community is larger than ever before and it’s not in the 1950s closet, so most of us have gay acquaintances at work or at church and we know them and the thought of legally discriminating against our own friends and co-workers is an anathema to me,” Kirk told the Illinois Radio Network in an interview Tuesday.

Kirk says viewing the recent movie “Lincoln” helped shape his opinion. “I must say I’ve been pretty influenced by the latest Spielberg movie about Abraham Lincoln,” Kirk said. “You just think about, as a Republican leader, my job is to make sure each generation is more free and has more dignity as an individual, which is the unique gift of the United States to the world and the thought of treating a whole bunch of people, just because of who they love, differently, is in my view against that Lincoln tradition.”

Kirk believes gay marriage should be handled on a state-by-state basis and believes gay marriage will come to Illinois soon. “I think from what I’ve seen in my talks with [Senate Minority Leader] Chris Radogno (R-Lemont) about what happened in Springfield, it would appear that it’s coming soon,” Kirk said.

Kirk is the second Republican senator to publicly announce his support of same-sex marriage.

© Copyright 2013 The Illinois Radio Network. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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