One of the state's leading gay rights groups held a fundraiser Wednesday for two suburban Republican lawmakers who support same-sex marriage.
The Equality Illinois fundraiser in Chicago supported Republican state Reps. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein and Ron Sandack of Downers Grove, who have publicly backed same-sex marriage, as well as state Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington, who voted for the proposal in the Illinois Senate.
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Equality Illinois director of public policy Randy Hannig said the group wants to show Republicans, who largely oppose same-sex marriage, that supporters can try to help them politically if they change their minds.
"We're standing strong with our friends," Hannig said of the Chicago event.
Opponents have succeeded in keeping same-sex marriage out of the Illinois statute books. An expected state House vote in May never materialized after it became clear supporters didn't have the votes they needed. They might try again in the fall, but opponents have pushed back all summer.
Republican Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka was a guest of honor at the Chicago event.
"She gave a great, fiery speech," Hannig said.