CHICAGO – Celebrating the successful passage of same sex marriage in Illinois, this week the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (PAC) issued its early endorsements of legislative candidates running in the March 18, 2014, primary election who have strong voting records on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues, particularly regarding the freedom to marry.
"Last year's legislative session was a banner year for advancing the interests of LGBT Illinoisans, particularly passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act , and these members of the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives were at the forefront of that progress," said Jeremy Gottschalk, President of the Equality Illinois PAC Board of Directors. "Those legislators who have repeatedly supported us deserve our PAC endorsement because they have proven themselves to be great allies to the LGBT community. It is a thank you that we hope will be noticed by voters."
Gottschalk noted that during the debate on the freedom to marry, opponents threatened to challenge incumbents who supported the bill. "We have to make sure that we stand up for the people who have stood up for us," he said. "It is also important that we continue to elect pro-LGBT majorities in the legislature, because our work is not done."
In a recent meeting of gay activists from throughout the nation, the issues of furthering transgender rights and making Illinois schools safer for LGBT students were mentioned as next on the legislative agenda.
Equality Illinois PAC endorsed all Democrats, except for two Republicans, State Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove and State Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein, whose votes were key in the passing Illinois' same sex marriage law. The list of Equality Now's endorsements for March 18, 2014 include: