Illinois Freedom to Marry Republicans Sweep Primaries

3/19/2014

Barrage of Anti-Gay Attacks and Investments Fail to Win Over Voters

Press Contact:
Angela Dallara
Media Relations Manager, Freedom to Marry
angela@freedomtomarry.org
646-430-3925

New York – Yesterday, the three Illinois House Republicans who backed Illinois’s freedom to marry bill won primary challenges in spite of aggressive targeting by freedom to marry opponents. Representatives Ed Sullivan and Ron Sandack were re-elected to their House seats while Rep. Tom Cross—a former House GOP leader who ran for Treasurer—defeated his anti-equality opponent. 

Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“Last night, Illinois Republican lawmakers who voted for the freedom to marry batted a thousand in the GOP primaries.  Their victories--three out of three--in spite of desperate and ugly attacks from opponents of equality show that using marriage as a wedge issue no longer works and that backing conservative principles of freedom, family, and individual liberty will prevail. Our side was smart and strategic in these races and stood up for those who stood with us.  Thanks to Equality Illinois and the Illinois Unity PAC for their leadership." 

Illinois Family Action, Illinois Families First and other anti-gay groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on blatantly anti-gay mailers and ads targeting incumbent state Rep. Ron Sandack, Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr., and Rep. Tom Cross for supporting the freedom to marry.

A recent New York Times poll showed that 40% of Republicans, including 56% of voters under 45, support the freedom to marry, an increase of 15% in the last two years.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.