Illinois gaining GOP support for marriage equality

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Illiniois is heading towards a vote for marriage equality in the state’s House of Representatives, and while only two weeks ago there were fears that the bill would likely fall short of of passing, optimism has been rekindled in recent days, according to Equality Illinois.

The oldest LGBT organization in the state said in a press release that “it is clear that bipartisan support for the freedom to marry is growing in Illinois.”

Their hope for marriage equality passing the state comes after Republican leader Ed Sullivan Jr. of Mundelein announced his support for the bill, giving more credence to hopes that the GOP would pass the marriage legislation.

“Rep Sullivan’s support for marriage honors the founding Republican principles of individual freedoms and the government not limiting private lives,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. “I know that his constituents and fair-minded Illinoisans everywhere are very proud of him.””¨”¨

Sullivan’s endorsement comes on the heels of the support given marriage equality last week by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, also a Republican. Also last week, more voices from the African-American clergy were raised in support of the bill.

“Even while lawmakers were on recess, support for the marriage bill has been growing and momentum building,” Cherkasov said. 

“From members of Congress adding their voices of support to Illinois House Republicans committing to voting for the freedom to marry to African-American clergy calling for swift passage of the marriage law, every day we are hearing from more and more lawmakers wishing to do what is moral and what is right and what is wanted by a clear majority of Illinoisans – pass the marriage bill.””¨”¨

Cherkasov emphasized that supporters need to continue advocating for the bill up to the moment it is called for a roll call.

“House members, especially those splitting from party doctrine, need to hear from their constituents, because our opponents will not remain silent in the face of this bipartisan momentum,” Cherkasov said. “We need everyone to thank Rep. Sullivan and urge their own representative to follow his lead.”

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