North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp on Friday announced her support for gay marriage, saying that the “importance of family is enduring.”

Heitkamp, a Democrat, announced her support in a statement.

“In speaking with North Dakotans from every corner of our great state, and much personal reflection, I have concluded the federal government should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships,” Heitkamp said. “I view the ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief. The makeup of families is changing, but the importance of family is enduring.”

Heitkamp is the third Democratic senator to announce support for marriage equality in the past 24 hours. On Thursday, Florida Senator Bill Nelson said that he could not discriminate against gays because “The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals.” And Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly said Friday that backing the institution was “the right thing to do.”

This new round of endorsements boosts the number of senators in favor of marriage equality to 53, a number which includes two Republicans, Senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois.

Only four Democratic senators remain publicly opposed. They are: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Tim Johnson of South Dakota.