Tampa, FL —
Equality Illinois (EQIL), a gay and lesbian advocacy group is hosting a cocktail party tonight in Florida at the Sheraton Sand Key Beach Resort at the invitation of Illinois GOP leadership.
According to a press release from EQIL, working with Illinois Republicans is not unusual, despite the obvious differences between Equality Illinois
and the national Republican Party on matters of equality for LGBT Americans.
"We have to take a bipartisan approach to secure the legislative majorities we need to advance equality, and there are statewide Republican officeholders who support us regardless of what the national party says," said Randy Hannig, Director of Public Policy of Equality Illinois
"Every successful effort on behalf of the LGBT community in the Illinois legislature and every other state legislature across the U.S.has depended on stand-up Republican lawmakers who vote for what is right," Hannig said.
Art Johnston, a founder and board member of the organization, will lead the Equality Illinois
event in Tampa along with Hannig. "We appreciate the chance to talk and mingle with important stakeholders in the GOP to discuss legislative priorities, to strengthen relationships with allies and to foster new friendships." Hannig said.
At the Democratic National Convention the following week in Charlotte, Equality Illinois
will also host a party, Midnight Martinis, the night of Wednesday, September 5 at the Omni Charlotte Hotel.
At both conventions, supporters and allies of Equality Illinois
will be given passes to attend some of the convention floor sessions.