State Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said he thinks same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. (Photo Courtesy Flickr)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said Friday he has no intention of stepping down after announcing his support of same-sex marriage.
Brady has been criticized by fellow Republicans for his stance on the issue and some conservative members of his party are calling for him to resign. But, he considers same-sex marriage a constitutional right.
"For a long time I've believed that the government prohibiting same-sex marriage violates one of our fundamental constitutional principles, and that's equal treatment under the law. That is to me the foundation of the conservative approach to governing," he said.
Log Cabin Republicans, a national group of gay and lesbian Republicans, are applauding Brady's defense of equal marriage rights. Interim Director Gregory T. Angelo told WJBC's Beth Whisman he was surprised to hear Illinois Central Committeewoman Bobbie Peterson called Brady a "disgrace" to the party.
Angelo said there are many prominent "superstars" of the Republican party who have shown support for gay couples who want to marry, including former first lady Laura Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Brady said he considers Peterson a friend even if they don't agree.
The party chair called his support of same-sex marriage a "personal choice," but said Republicans need to work on rebounding from the hit they took in November's election.
"We need to focus on the economic issues and put these social issues to rest or we're never going to win elections in the State of Illinois as Republicans," he said.
Brady said he is looking forward to the gubernatorial race and hopes a strong showing could regain some traction for Illinois Republicans.
Paul Morello can be reached at email@example.com.