In January, Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady began calling lawmakers urging them to support marriage equality. Despite threats from the National Organization for Marriage and fellow Republicans, he stood by his position. Brady then survived three different attempts to oust him from his position, but now he has announced he is stepping down voluntarily for various personal and professional reasons, including his wife’s ongoing battle with ovarian cancer.
The divisions in the party over Brady’s position on same-sex marriage have been considered by some to be a microcosm of the Republican Party’s struggles nationally, particularly its attempt to sugarcoat its anti-gay positions while still embracing them wholeheartedly.
The Illinois House has stalled voting on marriage equality legislation, but Gov. Pat Quinn (D) believes the bill is within “striking distance.” The state’s Senate passed the bill 34-21 back in February.