Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThis week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill Trump attending Senate GOP lunch Tuesday High stakes as Trump heads to Hill MORE (R-Ill.) announced his support for same-sex marriage on Tuesday, becoming the second sitting GOP senator to do so.

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"Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage," Kirk said in a statement on his blog.

"Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most," continued Kirk, who returned to the Senate earlier this year after a lengthy absence to recover from a stroke. "Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back — government has no place in the middle."

Kirk's statement came the same morning that Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperLawmakers prep for coming wave of self-driving cars Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out Dems seek watchdog probe into Pruitt’s Chick-fil-A dealings MORE (D-Del.) also announced that he supports same-sex marriage.

The Human Rights Campaign, a pro-same-sex marriage group, praised the announcements by both Kirk and Carper.

"Sen. Kirk and Sen. Carper have shown tremendous leadership in announcing their support for marriage equality," Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said. "It is a sign of our progress that so many of their colleagues are showing the same political will. Democrat or Republican, there can simply be no excuse for standing on the wrong side of history when it comes to this basic question of justice."

Kirk joins Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHarvard biz school honors Wilbur Ross GOP senators blast White House aide over trade remarks Community development impact remains clear with NMTC post-tax reform MORE (R-Ohio), who switched positions in March, as the only sitting Republican senators to support gay marriage.

Last week, the Supreme Court held hearings on challenges to California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The legal challenges brought a flood of high-profile Democratic senators, including many from swing states or traditionally GOP strongholds, publicly supporting gay marriage.

Besides Carper, seven other Senate Democrats have endorsed same-sex marriage in recent weeks: Sens. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term MORE (W.Va.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerWray defends FBI after 'sobering' watchdog report Top Dems: IG report shows Comey's actions helped Trump win election Dem senator: Trump at G-7 made me ‘embarrassed for our country’ MORE (Va.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyAction by Congress is needed to help victims of domestic violence Poll: Casey holds double-digit lead over Barletta in Pa. Senate race Ivanka Trump to press Senate on vocational training bill MORE Jr. (Pa.), Kay HaganKay Ruthven Hagan2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Politics is purple in North Carolina MORE (N.C.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillManchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Dem poll: McCaskill leads by 6 in Missouri Senate race The Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? MORE (Mo.), Mark BegichMark Peter BegichFormer Alaska senator jumps into governor race Overnight Energy: Trump directs Perry to stop coal plant closures | EPA spent ,560 on customized pens | EPA viewed postcard to Pruitt as a threat Perez creates advisory team for DNC transition MORE (Alaska), and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterManchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Trump signs VA reform bill without Democratic co-author The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Primary results give both parties hopes for November MORE (Mont.).

Polls also show growing acceptance among the public of gay marriage, leading many in the GOP to adopt a softer stance.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril McCain calls on Trump to rescind family separation policy: It's 'an affront to the decency of the American people' GOP senator calls on Trump to end 'cruel' family separation policy MORE (R-Alaska) last week said her position on the issue was "evolving." Fellow Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSenate chaplain offers prayer 'as children are being separated from their parents' Romney backs Laura Bush on border: 'We need a more compassionate answer' Mark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump MORE (Ariz.) said that while he supported traditional marriage, he believed it "inevitable" that a 2016 GOP presidential contender could openly support gay marriage.

Updarted at 4:38 p.m.