The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is hoping the former chairman of the state GOP can help win Republican votes for gay marriage in Springfield.
Pat Brady resigned in May. The decision came a few months after he publicly announced his support for same-sex marriage.
Brady says he’ll lobby House Republican lawmakers in hopes of getting the measure passed this fall.
There are a lot of like-minded conservatives that feel the same way I do. I think there’s overwhelming support for this in the State of Illinois, in the voter community and in the donor community. -Pat Brady
Steve Schmidt - a former top advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign - is heading up the ACLU's national effort to win over Republicans on same-sex marriage.
Schmidt says that could attract suburban voters and young people.
You need look no further than how anemic the Republican Party has been in Illinois when over the course of the last half century, you know, Illinois has been a great Republican state. -Steve Schmidt, ACLU
Brady’s critics have said he’s betraying the Republican Party’s platform - which says marriage is for one man and one woman.
Illinois Public Radio's Alex Keefe contributed to this report.