State Rep. Dan Brady said he believes civil unions already provide all the legal protections that gay couples seek in same-sex marriage legislation. (Photo courtesy Illinois House Republicans)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, said he plans to vote against legalizing gay marriage when it comes to the full Illinois House for a vote.
Brady said his first priority is to represent the view of his constituents who are generally opposed to same-sex marriage.
"I also still fundamentally believe marriage is between a man and a woman and I have the religious side of things I'm still struggling with personally," Brady said.
Brady says the bill doesn't give same-sex couples any more legal protections than civil unions which are already legal.
"Is there something afforded to (same-sex) couples that this bill does that the civil union law doesn't (address)? Honestly, the answer from the individuals or groups I talked to was no," Brady said.
Brady says gay marriage advocates told him the difference between civil unions and gay marriage is a matter of perception. Brady previously voted against civil unions.
A proposal to legalize gay marriage passed the House Executive Committee, 6-5, on Tuesday.
Brady accused Illinois Democrats are trying to 'muddy the waters' by introducing what he calls 'ridiculous' amendments to concealed carry legislation. Brady said House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, is upset that the state has been told by the court to pass concealed carry, so he wants it watered down as much as possible.
"The idea was, get these amendments loaded up to the bill and you basically have a conceal carry bill, but you have a concealed carry bill where basically you can't conceal carry anywhere in the state of Illinois," Brady said.
After House lawmakers debated nearly a dozen proposed amendments (and dropped more than a dozen others), the measure that won preliminary approval on Tuesday would restrict gun owners from carrying their weapons in or around schools, child-care centers, casinos or government buildings.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.