Democrat Jack Franks, a man who has fashioned an image that portrays himself as a conservative, voted for legislation to legalize civil unions among same sex partners in Illinois.
Senate Bill 1716 pass the house 61-52 after an hour debate.
Also voting for the bill was State Rep. Mark Beaubien, who has the reputation of being a liberal Republican.
“Now is the time to support this bill,”
Beaubien is reported to have said during House debate.
Franks has been moving left politically as his ambitions for statewide or congressional office have grown.
After redistricting, Franks is expected to be newly-elected Congressman Joe Walsh’s Democratic Party opponent in 2012.
This morning, the Northwest Herald provided political cover for Franks by endorsing the gay rights bill in an editorial.
Franks’ Republican opponent, John O’Neill, opposed civil unions, even participating in a demonstration in front of Franks’ Woodstock office after his election defeat.
State Rep. Mike Tryon voted against the bill.
The bill now moves to the State Senate where it is expected to pass.
Governor Pat Quinn has already said he will sign it and was on the House floor when it passed.
The roll call is below. Click to enlarge.