Senator Mark Kirk (R–Ill) announced on Tuesday that he's joining the increasingly long list of politicians who support gay marriage. His announcement comes one week after the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, and 15 months after the Senator suffered a stroke. As the Los Angeles Times reports:

"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," he 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," Kirk said.

In the weeks before Kirk's announcement, several other prominent politicians came out in favor of gay marriage, including Hillary Clinton, Senator Rob Portman (R- Oh) and Senator Clair McCaskill (D-Mo).

Kirk has been in the news before for less progressive reasons, including once for attempting to send out "voter integrity" squads in 2010 and another time for "misidentifying" his military records. But all was forgiven after his State of the Union exploding fist bump with President Obama, which — apologies to Marco Rubio — was the highlight of that evening.

[LA Times/Image via Getty]