POLITICS

Illinois GOP Ousts Officials Who Opposed Former Chairman's Support Of Same-Sex Marriage

Apr 21, 2014 | Updated Apr 22, 2014

A number of Illinois GOP officials who wanted to remove former state Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady after he publicly supported same-sex marriage last year lost their party positions last week, according to The Associated Press.

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.

Brady began making public statements in January 2013 in support of same-sex marriage, contrary to the party's platform that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Committee members in favor of his removal said he not only violated the platform, but commented without notifying them first.

Brady, in turn, described the party as "on wrong side of history."

Brady resigned as chairman in May, a move that highlighted a rift between the state GOP's socially conservative and moderate wings. Jack Dorgan took over as chairman in June.

Many Republicans have shied away from opposition to same-sex marriage recently, as polls have shown rising support for same-sex marriage in the party. The Nevada Republican Party dropped opposition to gay marriage from its platform this month.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R), who led last year's effort to oust Brady, continues to be a strong opponent of same-sex marriage. He is looking to oust Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in November.

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