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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 12, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 15
Republican lawmaker backs Illinois marriage bill - NOM threatens to end Rep. Ed Sullivan's political career
Section One
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Republican lawmaker backs Illinois marriage bill - NOM threatens to end Rep. Ed Sullivan's political career

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Republican Illinois State Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. announced on April 7 that he would vote for the marriage equality bill pending in the state's House.

'This issue for me & goes to the core of fairness - marriage equality for all people. I think it is in line with ... what I believe, and I personally believe it is in line with what our party believes, and that's trying to treat people with fairness,' Sullivan said.

Sullivan acknowledged that equality opponents cite their religious beliefs, but he said the bill contains strong religious protections.

LESBIAN MOTHER-IN-LAW
'I try to err on the side of being a public servant and serving my district as opposed to potentially being a politician and just serving that subset [opposed based on religion] and those within my party who don't necessarily want this to pass,' he said. 'I look at this as a freedom, as a conservative view of treating people equally.' He added that his mother-in-law is 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.'

Sullivan is the second Republican to announce support for equality, and his statement is particularly important because as chair of the House Republican campaign organization, he is in a party leadership position.

Republican Rep. Ron Sandack has also said he will vote for same-sex marriage, and Sullivan said more Republicans 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.'

NOM: HE'S TOAST
The anti-equality National Organization for Marriage (NOM) seems to share that belief, because the day after Sullivan's announcement, NOM President Brian Brown threatened to end the careers of any Republicans who voted for equality.

'Any Republican in Illinois who betrays the cause of marriage will be casting a career-ending vote and will be held accountable to their constituents,' Brown proclaimed.

'We will spend whatever it takes - hundreds of thousands of dollars if necessary - to remove them from office, just as we did three of the four turncoat Republican state senators in New York who were responsible for Gay 'marriage' passing there. We will not hesitate to support pro-family Democrats to replace them, as our record in New York proves.'

Illinois Republican chairman Pat Brady declared his support for marriage equality in January, and actually worked the phones to persuade Republican state senators to vote for the marriage bill. Some GOP conservatives unsuccessfully sought to oust him because his position was at odds with the plank in the state Republican Party platform opposing same-sex marriage.

On April 2 U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Brady ally, announced his support for same-sex marriage, becoming the second U.S. Senate Republican to do so.

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