An Illinois House Republican leader has announced his support for legalizing gay marriage in the state.
Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. says his mother-in-law influenced his position. She's been in a lesbian relationship for about 20 years.
Sullivan is the second GOP House member to support gay marriage and the first member of Minority Leader Tom Cross's leadership team. The proposal got Senate approval in February and a House vote is expected soon.
Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan says the issue is a dozen votes short of the 60 needed. Advocates say it's closer. Other Republicans could jump aboard with Sullivan's announcement. Illinois’ Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk came out in favor of gay marriage last week.