For much of the last decade, Illinois' mostly moderate pro-choice and pro-gay rights Republicans seeking statewide office have largely avoided calling for a constitutional marriage amendment. That's changing, the Chicago Sun-Times notes, profiling ultra-conservative State Senator Bill Brady (Bloomington), the "GOP gubernatorial front-runner."
"[Brady] Wednesday proposed changing the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, make it more difficult to pass state tax increases, impose term limits on lawmakers and overhaul the process of redrawing legislative boundaries. "I'm trying to give the government back to the people," said Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), when asked what the package says about him as a candidate for governor. The same-sex marriage prohibition would prohibit gay marriages and civil unions."
"Aside from his opposition to gay marriage and civil unions, Brady voted against a state law passed in 2005 that banned discrimination against gays and lesbians in matters of housing and employment, according to a Chicago Tribune profile. Brady's opponent [Kirk] Dillard is also opposed to gay marriage and civil unions, but it was not clear whether he would try to change the Constitution over the issue. The proposal is another serious hit for the gay community in Illinois. While Dan Hynes campaigned promising that he would work for marriage equality, Gov. Pat Quinn opposes gay marriage, leaving many wondering if gay marriage will ever happen in Illinois. The chances of Brady's proposal happening in dark blue Illinois is unlikely--but if by some chance the GOP defeats Gov. Quinn in the general election, the gay community in Illinois may have something else to worry about."
Last spring, HB 2234, which would give gay and lesbian couples the right to form civil unions in Illinois, passed a House committee. It has stalled since then and many do not believe it has the necessary votes to pass the House.