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Illinois Republican Party Chair Backs Marriage Equality

"Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles," Pat Brady says. State lawmakers could be considering a marriage bill as early as Thursday.

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WASHINGTON — The head of the Illinois Republican Party is pushing for the legislature to approve a bill that would allow same-sex couples there to marry.

"More and more Americans understand that if two people want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, government should not stand in their way," party chair Pat Brady told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday. "Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value — that the law should treat all citizens equally."

The Daily Herald reported that Brady said he "is calling GOP lawmakers asking them to support a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage."

The bill was expected to have been considered by a Senate committee on Wednesday afternoon, but a procedural tactic employed by opponents of the bill, reported by the Windy City Times, will prevent its consideration until at least Thursday. [UDPATE: The Chicago Sun-Times has more on the development.]

President Obama also supports the bill, a White House spokesman announced earlier this week.

Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at

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