By Dan Haley
In her Sun-Times column Wednesday, Lynn Sweet reported on the ways that Sen. Mark Kirk (R.-IL) has changed his thinking in the wake of the serious stroke he suffered a little more than one year ago. The most telling change in approach was his announcement Tuesday that he now supported marriage for gays and lesbians.
In that column Sweet wrote about the impact on Kirk and his staff after hearing from so many backers of same sex marriage. Singled out by Sweet were Lee and David Neubecker and their kids Braiden and Michael. The Neubeckers are from River Forest and were featured in the Journal two weeks ago when we published a letter from David Neubecker and a companion letter from 10-year-old Braiden. While David made the more straightforward legal case for marriage equality, Braiden wrote from the heart as she described the life she and her brother are leading in the six years since they were adopted by the Neubeckers and contrasting it with the multiple foster placements they had endured as small children. "Love is important!" she wrote. "It doesn't matter who people love, as long as they are happy. Everyone should have the right to marry who he or she wants. You may not like two men being married, but for them it's normal."
Turns out the family was in Washington in early March and took the opportunity to meet with Gretchan Blum, one of Kirk's staff members. Sounds as if they were part of the persuasion.