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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.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Caj says:

    Some politicians have no guts and appear to be afraid of their own shadows!! If they truly believe in a cause they should stand up and do the right thing. Resigning just because there was a backlash it’s so pathetic. Far too many gutless wonders in office right now. Take their orders from lobbying groups instead of what the country wants. NRA is a prime example. Some politicians are scared to death of them. They are elected nobody’s just like Grover Norquist but these stupid politicians kneel at the feet of both the NRA and Norquist and his stupid no tax pledge. God knows how this country runs when you’ve got pure idiots kow towing to fools like them!!

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  2. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Caj: This wasn’t a real resignation. It was a “quit, or you’re fired” resignation. The gutless thing would have been to change his position in order to keep his job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. matt bernius says:

    This sort of (potentially forced) resignation is an excellent counter to certain commenters here who chastise Gays and others for making “same sex marriage” a litmus test issue.

    This also serves as further evidence that the topic has a lot of potential to shatter the current configuration of the Republican party — in the same way that Civil Rights shattered the Democrats in the 50’s/60’s.

    What’s less clear is where the defectors would go. The more progressive Republicans might join the Dems — though that’s a bit hard to see. Either than or the Religious/Social Conservatives need to find a new home that doesn’t seem to currently exist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. PD Shaw says:

    Brady’s days were numbered when the Republicans appeared to under-perform last election. There were a lot of call for Brady to resign before he spoke out on gay marriage, the week after he did speak out on the issue, it was reported that the state committee had the supermajority vote to oust him. Gay marriage might have pushed the final votes against him, both from social conservatives, but also from moderates who believe the state GOP needs to not talk about social issues, just the state’s fiscal problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. stonetools says:

    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

    Er, do you want to know a party that’s not behind the times on this issue and who is leading the fight for gay rights? That’s right, the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
    Brady- and other people-should join the party in favor of gay rights. Just sayin’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  6. legion says:

    I don’t normally think very highly of people who do “single-issue” voting, but I have to make an exception for LGBT issues. No matter what your political, social, economic, or foreign policy opinions are, I cannot imagine supporting any member of an entire party with a key platform plank of “we’d be happier if you all just died.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Glad to see that the Republican re-branding effort is going so well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0