Illinois GOP Chairman Resigns Over Support For Same-Sex Marriage
Several months ago, Pat Brady, the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, announced his support for legalization of same-sex marriage, which is currently being debated in the Illinois legislature. Almost immediately, there were calls for his resignation from the socially conservative elements of the party an, over the course of the intervening months, attempts to oust him that came up short. Today, though, Brady resigned and it’s pretty clear that support for marriage equality is what forced him out of office:
Pat Brady, the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, announced his resignation Tuesday amid a simmering controversy over his support for gay marriage legislation.
Brady had been expected to drop out of the lead GOP role following a tumultuous period that pitted the Republicans’ social moderates against their social conservatives.
With same-sex marriage legislation pending in the Illinois legislature, Brady this year voiced his support for the proposal despite a plank in the state GOP platform that said marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman. Brady said he made the endorsement personally, not as Republican chairman, but conservatives in the top echelon of the GOP party quickly complained.
Though Brady survived immediate attempts to dump him, a meeting of the Republican State Central Committee in Tinley Park last month made clear his fate. GOP leaders agreed to put together a succession plan, allowing Brady, of St. Charles, an exit strategy that made clear his days were numbered as they began a search for a new chairman.
On some level, I suppose one can understand that a political party would want it’s leader to reflect the positions that the party takes, or at least not to openly disagree with part of the party’s platform. On the other hand, though, this is just another sign that the GOP remains behind the times on this issue. Marriage equality is likely to become law in Illinois this year, and the state GOP is going to continue waging a pointless war in opposition just to make one segment of its party happy.