Republican IL Rep. Ed Sullivan announces support for marriage bill

Today, Illinois Rep. Ed Sullivan, chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, announced that he will vote for the freedom to marry on the IL House marriage bill. He is the second Republican representative in IL to pledge his support and the first Republican leader in the House to do so. He said:

"There is tremendous momentum leading up to this vote. I think we're very close. There's many of my colleagues that have talked about this, that have said it's the right thing to do. I look at this as a freedom, as a conservative view of treating people equally."

In February, GOP Rep. Ron Sandack also announced his support for marriage, explaining, "Nothing about permitting two loving adults to marry violates our conservative values; rather, it encourages them. Same-sex marriage promotes a stable relationship between two people, which is a true conservative value." 

Both representatives cited the fact that the Illinois marriage bill, called the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, provides strong safeguards protecting religious institutions opposed to the freedom to marry from being required to perform these unions.

Last week, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, who represents Illinois and is a Republican, also announced his support for marriage, becoming the second Republican in the U.S. Senate to do so. Across the state of Illinois and throughout the country, more and more Republican lawmakers are coming to the conclusion that Sen. Kirk and Reps. Sandack and Sullivan have: That ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is the right thing to do. 

In February, IL Sen. Jason Barickman voted in favor of marriage when the bill went to the floor of the IL Senate. His vote helped the bill to advance through the IL Senate. The marriage bill has also advanced through a House committee and now awaits a full hearing and vote before the full floor. 

Illinois Unites for Marriage, which is chaired by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Equality Illinois, and Lambda Legal, is working alongside legislators to pass the bill in 2013. Freedom to Marry is proud to be a member of the coalition working on the front lines to pass marriage in the legislature.