Today, a second Republican in the Illinois House, Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr., said that he would vote in favor of same-sex marriage:
SULLIVAN: 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.
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. I look at this as a freedom, as a conservative view of treating people equally.
Sullivan also indicated he believes there are more Republicans who are willing to vote for it. Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady also supports marriage equality and an attempt by the state committee to remove him because of that position failed. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R) also endorsed same-sex marriage last week.
But the National Organization for Marriage countered Sullivan’s endorsement by doubling down on their threat to bully any Republican who supports marriage equality by campaigning against their re-election. NOM’s president Brian Brown boasted its “successful” retaliation campaign in New York:
BROWN: 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. 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.
But Brown’s depiction of what NOM accomplished in New York is not accurate. NOM challenged four New York Republican senators who supported marriage equality, but after the election, three of those seats were still occupied by supporters of same-sex marriage. What NOM accomplished was helping turn two of those seats over to Democrats. If Republicans in Illinois are concerned about the impact of same-sex marriage on their re-election, they should be less worried about their votes and more worried about NOM’s vindictive retaliation.