Illinois' largest gay rights advocate
has announced a $500,000 “Fight Back For Marriage” campaign
leading to the 2014 election.
Equality Illinois said that half of the
money will target Chicago neighborhoods and other areas outside of
the Chicago metropolitan area, or Chicagoland, where support for gay
marriage is seen as lagging.
Equality Illinois Political Action
Committee (EQIL PAC), the political arm of Equality Illinois, has
pledged the campaign's other $250,000. EQIL PAC will use the cash to
match dollar-for-dollar expenditures committed by the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM), an opponent of marriage equality.
NOM previously threatened to spend up to $250,000 against Illinois
lawmakers who supported a marriage bill which stalled in the
House after Senate approval. The group said pro-marriage equality
Republicans are particularly vulnerable.
“We will defend those candidates who
demonstrated a dedication to the freedom to marry through their votes
and campaign commitments,” said Jeremy Gottschalk, chair of
Equality Illinois PAC board of directors. “And we will ensure that
those who stand in the way of marriage equality are held accountable
to the voters. No opponents of marriage equality can be sure that
their re-election campaigns will be easy next year.”
A vote on the marriage bill postponed
in the House last month is expected to take place in November.