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Republican Sen. Kirk says he supports same-sex marriage

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.