Illinois Senator Bill Brady has
captured the Republican nomination for Illinois governor, gay website
Rival Republican Kirk Dillard conceded
defeat Friday, a month after the Illinois primary, and endorsed Brady
for governor. Brady eked out a victory with a narrow 193 votes, a
final count from the State Board of Elections found.
Brady has publicly acknowledged his
opposition to gay marriage, saying he supports amending the state's
constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual union. Such an
amendment would effectively ban gay marriage and block the state's
top court from legalizing the institution.
He is also the author of a bill that
would exempt religious groups from a gay protections law. Brady's
bill would carve out an exception to the Illinois Human Rights Act,
which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and
gender identity, for religious groups, effectively allowing any
church-affiliated group to discriminate against gay people. The
bill's exceptions would only apply to workplace protections. Late
last month, the bill's sponsorship was transferred from Brady, who
authored and introduced the bill, to Senator John O. Jones, a
Springfield Republican, without explanation.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, the
Democratic candidate, called Brady's positions outside of the
“The Republican nominee is from the
extreme right wing of the party and far from the mainstream of
Illinois voters,” Quinn said.
Rick Garcia, political director of
Illinois, the state's largest gay rights advocate, voiced his
opposition to Brady.
“Brady has supported or co-sponsored
every piece of anti-gay legislation there has been in Springfield –
from a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to gutting the
Illinois Human Rights Act,” Garcia told ChicagoPride.com in
Quinn supports recognizing gay couples
with civil unions.