A group called Equality Illinois sponsored the drinks at Tuesday's state GOP lunch. It’s an organization that lobbies for gay marriage in the state. Randy Hannig is a spokesman for Equality Illinois.
"There’s a lot of Republicans are still on the fence," Hannig said. "They’re not too sure on how they would vote on say, for example, the marriage bill. So this is an opportunity for us to kind of talk to them, answer their questions, kind of assuage any fears they have."
Hannig says his group will sponsor a similar event at next week’s Democratic convention. Despite their presence, Tuesday's lunch was sparsely attended.
Most delegates were leaving for the convention at that time. Among those who were there, delegate Bill Anderson gave the group’s message a cool reception.
"I think there’s far - uh - there are many other issues that are far more important," he said.
Later in the day, the national Republican Party passed a platform that rejects gay marriage.