The American Unity Fund, a new Republican political group aimed at growing support within the party for the rights of same-sex couples to marry, is credited with helping to persuade all five GOP state senators in Rhode Island to vote in favor of a marriage-equality bill. Next, the Fund will set its sights on states such as Illinois and Delaware, where marriage legislation is being considered. "What we want is for legislators to hear from their straight friends and neighbors, people who will say, 'I'm a Republican, and I want this for my neighbors and my friends,' " said Jeff Cook-McCormac, a senior adviser to the group.

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