By The Associated Press

Illinois GOP chairman backing gay marriage

SPRINGFIELD – The chairman of the Illinois Republican Party says support for gay marriage is "the most conservative position" because it keeps government out of personal lives.

Pat Brady says he has been calling Republican lawmakers for several weeks seeking support for the measure sponsored by Democrats.

Brady is at odds on the issue with not only his political party but his church — he's Catholic and bishops in the state are strongly opposed to marriage equality.

Supporters expect the issue to get a vote before the Executive Committee late this morning.

Brady says he's had mixed reactions to his lobbying but believes there are enough Senate votes to OK the legislation.

He says gay marriage is "an issue of equality and we're the party of Lincoln."

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