Despite bishop’s push, GOP hopefuls won’t repeal gay marriage

SHARE Despite bishop’s push, GOP hopefuls won’t repeal gay marriage

SPRINGFIELD — No one in the four-way Republican race for governor is displaying interest in repealing same-sex marriage if elected despite insistence from a Downstate Catholic bishop that they and other officeholders have a “moral obligation” to do so.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, head of the Springfield Roman Catholic diocese, insisted Thursday that all state officeholders must “work for the repeal of this sinful and objectionable legislation.” The Catholic leader also announced plans to hold a prayer of “supplication and exorcism” to coincide with Gov. Pat Quinn’s signing of the legislation next week. But Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, who is Catholic and voted against same-sex marriage, signaled no interest in the repeal question, saying his focus as governor will be on improving the state economy. Brady also said that it’s politically unrealistic to think the Legislature would retreat from allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

“As you well know, our agenda is an economic agenda,” Brady told the Chicago Sun-Times, when asked if he would move to repeal the measure as governor. “My opposition [to same-sex marriage] is pretty clear. It is what it is. But I don’t see the Legislature putting a bill on the governor’s desk to repeal it.”

State Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, another GOP candidate for governor, also said through an aide that he had no intention of trying to repeal same-sex marriage if he wins the Executive Mansion. Before voting against same-sex marriage, Dillard had said he would work to repeal the state’s civil unions law. Dillard believes the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act faces “constitutional questions raised by several law professors who argue it will end up in court,” but he won’t work to repeal it if elected governor, campaign spokesman Wes Bleed said Thursday. Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who is also in the race for governor, said Wednesday he had no intention to try repealing it if elected. Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner’s campaign said the same thing.

“Bruce has repeatedly stated his view that the issue is better decided by the people in a referendum than by the politicians. That said, it’s not an issue Bruce plans to spend time on as governor,” Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said. “His focus is on growing the economy, solving the budget mess, fixing our schools, and enacting term limits because those are the most pressing problems facing Illinois.”

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