GOP meeting to oust Brady over gay marriage support canceled

Sat. March 9, 2013 9:48 AM by News Staff

pat brady

Topinka: 'He's on the right side of history, for God's sake.'

Springfield, IL - Illinois Republicans canceled a Saturday meeting where the future of party Chairman Pat Brady was to be discussed.

Seven members of the Republican State Central Committee, including anti-gay state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove, organized the special meeting scheduled for Saturday to vote Brady out after he voiced his support for same-sex marriage legislation.

Late Friday night 10th District Committeeman Mark Shaw announced the meeting had been canceled.

This week top GOP officials, including former Republican Govs. Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka and House Republican Leader Tom Cross, sounded support for Brady and said the party should be more inclusive.

"He's on the right side of history, for God's sake," Topinka told the Daily Herald Tuesday. "For me, it's being a total conservative that you're really pushing family values. Gay marriage is a very conservative thing. Family is (one of) the building blocks of a community."

Gay rights advocate Rick Garcia of The Civil Rights Agenda told, "The tide is turning."

"These folks all know that Brady is on the right side of history and if the Republican Party is to grow it has to get rid of the perception that it is anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-immigrant," said Garcia.

Support for marriage equality in Illinois continues to grow; a recent Crain's/Ipsos poll shows Illinoisans supporting marriage equality, with 50 percent in favor and only 29 percent opposed. Of the 50 percent in support, 37 percent "strongly" support the freedom to marry, according to the poll.

Every major newspaper serving Illinois, including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Herald, the Peoria Journal Star, the Springfield Journal-Register, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Quad City Times, has endorsed a marriage equality bill which awaits a vote in the Illinois House.

"It's time for Oberwies to milk a different cow," joked Garcia.

If approved, Illinois would become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Study: Same-sex marriage could add $103 million to Illinois economy

Majority of young Republicans support gay marriage