House GOP leader in favor of gay marriage

April 8, 2013

The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — A House Republican leader has announced his support for legalizing gay marriage in Illinois.

Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. of Mundelein said Monday his position is influenced by his mother-in-law. She's been in a lesbian relationship for about 20 years.

Sullivan is the second GOP House member to support gay marriage and the first member of Minority Leader Tom Cross's leadership team.

The proposal got Senate approval in February. Supporters expect a House vote soon.

House Speaker Michael Madigan — a Chicago Democrat — has said the issue is a dozen votes short of 60 needed. Advocates say it's closer.

Other Republicans could jump aboard with Sullivan's announcement. And Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk came out in favor of gay marriage last week.