MUNDELEIN - Should the sexual orientation of a close family member determine how a lawmaker determines how he or she votes on a pressing public policy? State Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) told the Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson that was exactly the reason why he was becoming the second Republican Illinois House member to declare his support for redefining marriage.
Sullivan's declaration brings State Rep. Greg Harris, the bill's sponsor, one step closer towards the 60 votes needed to pass SB 10 in the Illinois House.
... Sullivan, who is chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, said his decision to back same-sex marriage represented a personal and family evolution on the issue. Previously an opponent of civil unions, Sullivan told the Tribune that his mother-in-law, who lives in the southwest suburbs, has been in a same-sex relationship. "The first reaction from people might be, 'Well he might be voting for that just because of his mother-in-law,'" Sullivan said. "The reality is, because my mother-in-law is gay, I have more of an understanding and familiarity with same-sex couples."
"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," he said. "I look at this as a freedom, as a conservative view of treating people equally."
Sullivan served as a legislative aide right after graduating from the University of Illinois to former Congressman Phil Crane. He is a graduate of the Catholic Church's Carmel High School. His wife is a nurse practiioner in Mundelein and they have two children.