Social conservative groups opposed to
Illinois' gay marriage law have failed to deliver on making the issue
part of next year's primary races.
The marriage bill languished in the
House for a year before clearing its final hurdle in November. One
reason cited for the bill's slow progress was threats from opponents
to line up primary challengers against lawmakers who voted for the
Only nine of the fourteen black House
Democrats heavily targeted by opponents have primary challengers,
seven of whom told the AP that marriage equality wasn't a top
campaign issue. One even approved of the law. Two candidates did
not return the news agency's calls.
Challengers to three Republicans who
voted in favor of the marriage bill have also mostly ignored the
Only one challenger said that lawmakers
should be ousted for approving same-sex marriage.
“There should be a price to pay if a
lawmaker made a decision on same-sex marriage based on personal gain
… versus what constituents want,” said
Linda Jernigan, who is challenging Rep. Al Riley, a Democrat.
However, Jernigan, a pastor at Rescuing
Ministries, isn't a casual passerby in the debate. Instead, she's a
prominent activist who opposes gay rights and believes that gay
people can – and should – alter their sexuality.
gay marriage foe Linda Jernigan claims millions have left
Gay and lesbian couples can begin
marrying in Illinois on June 1, three years to the day after a civil
unions law took effect in the state. On Monday, a
federal judged ruled that Illinois gay couples facing a terminal
illness can marry early.