News Local/State

Gay Marriage Advocates Lobby Illinois Republicans at RNC


Gay marriage advocates are lobbying Illinois Republicans at the party’s national convention, but it is not clear how their message is being received.

A group called Equality Illinois, an organization that lobbies for gay marriage in the state, sponsored the drinks at Tuesday's state GOP lunch.

"There’s a lot of Republicans still on the fence," said Randy Hannig, a spokesman for Equality Illinois. "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 said his group will sponsor a similar event at next week’s Democratic Convention. But despite their presence, Tuesday’s lunch was sparsely attended. Most delegates were leaving for the Republican Convention at that time.

Some who were there, like 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 explicitly rejects gay marriage.