Illinois GOP ousts anti-gay committee members

Timothy Kincaid

April 21st, 2014

Pat Brady, the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, started 2013 off with a bang by announcing that he was lobbying state legislators to support marriage equality. While this received immediate reaction, the situation did not play out as might have been expected.

There was movement for Brady’s removal and some members of the state central committee called for a vote on his ouster. But this effort did not receive support from party leadership and both the GOP House Leader and US Senator Mark Kirk (who has endorsed equality, himself) supported Brady.

Eventually, Brady resigned from the position. But not before it became clear that he did so on his own volition and that the ouster effort did not have the necessary votes to remove him. Only seven of the 18 committee members signed onto a letter demanding his removal.

In November the state legislature passed a marriage equality bill, by a narrow margin, with the necessary support of three GOP representatives. Anti-gay activists vowed that they’d pay for their “betrayal” at the polls. Last month Republican voters rejected primary challenges to all three.

And now it appears that the social agenda activism of the anti-gay committee members has placed them on the outs in Illinois GOP politics. (Daily Journal)

A crop of Republican officials who wanted to oust former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady for his statements supporting same-sex marriage have been replaced in their party positions.

Illinois Republicans across the state held elections for all 18 state central committee member posts this week, replacing six of the seven officials who signed on to a letter last year to hold a vote on removing Brady as chairman. The seventh person to sign the letter, Mark Shaw of the 10th Congressional District, was re-elected to a four-year term.

I think it is now clear that irrespective of what they may individually believe about marriage, Illinois Republican voters have no stomach for continuing a culture war against the rights of their gay neighbors.

Richard Rush

April 21st, 2014

I think you need to correct the title of this post.

Timothy Kincaid

April 21st, 2014

Yes, thank you Richard. Fixed

(I originally wrote “Indiana GOP…”

esurience

April 22nd, 2014

Oh no, those poor Republicans were punished for their opposition to marriage equality!

I’m expecting a piece from Kincaid/Burroway/Tisinai telling us how wrong that is.

Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Dissent

Jim Burroway

April 22nd, 2014

If that is really what you’re expecting, then you have completely and spectacularly failed Reading Comprehension 101.

Victor

April 24th, 2014

At the risk of sounding like a shill for Illinois tourism… I just want to say that Illinois – Chicago, in particular – are awesome, amazing places to live if you are LGBT. We have one of the largest urban LGBT populations in the country and are blessed with hundreds of openly gay policymakers, staff people, department heads, and – most importantly – elected officials at every level of governance from precincts and school boards to the judiciary right on up to the governor’s staff. This did not happen by accident. It is the end result of thousands of activists – on both sides of the aisle – working tirelessly both behind the scenes and in the streets – for decades. I encourage anyone who is looking to escape to a “free state” with Midwestern values and charm – but spectacular LGBT integration into the power structures of government – to consider making Illinois your new home. I am so proud of what we have achieved here in the conservative heart of the country.

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