Main | Monday, April 08, 2013

ILLINOIS: Second State House Republican Backs Same-Sex Marriage

Saying that he was influenced by his gay mother-in-law, a second GOP member of the Illinois House has announced his support for same-sex marriage.
State Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr., who is chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, said his decision to back same-sex marriage represented a personal and family evolution on the issue. Previously an opponent of civil unions, Sullivan told the Tribune that his mother-in-law, who lives in the southwest suburbs, has been in a same-sex relationship. "The first reaction from people might be, 'Well he might be voting for that just because of his mother-in-law,'" Sullivan said. "The reality is, because my mother-in-law is gay, I have more of an understanding and familiarity with same-sex couples."
Supporters of the bill believe they are still about 12 votes shy of passage in the state House. But Sullivan is optimistic.
Sullivan said he believes more Republicans among the 47 in the House will sign on. "There is tremendous momentum leading up to this vote. I think we're very close," he said. "There's many of my colleagues that have talked about this, that have said it's the right thing to do."
Last week GOP Sen. Mark Kirk announced his support for marriage, a move that may encourage local Republicans to follow suit. The Illinois House reconvenes today after a two week break.

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