IL GOP forces out party chair for supporting gay marriage

Illinois Republicans have just forced state party chair Pat Brady to resign because of his support for gay marriage.

What is this, Alabama?

Brady, rather famously, came out in support of gay marriage in January of this year, and even made phone calls to lawmakers urging them to support gay marriage legislation before the Illinois legislature.

And now he’s politically-dead, killed by a Republican party so permeated with hate and intolerance that even in a moderate-Republican state like Illinois, the GOP just couldn’t stomach having a fag-lover as party chair.

This is why I, an Illinois Republican, left my party 21 years ago and never looked back.  Even back then, in 1992, the hate was too much.  But now, in 2013, when 11 American states have already legalized gay marriage, Illinois Republicans are so hateful and bigoted that they would destroy a man for daring to speak out in favor of civil rights.

IL GOP party chair Pat Brady

IL GOP party chair Pat Brady

Of course, as the Chicago Tribune notes, the problem is social conservatives – i.e., the religious right – who are trying to take over Illinois politics.  Good luck with that.  Illinois isn’t Mississippi.  Though the Illinois Republican party is sure doing a heck of an imitation of the Mississippi GOP, that only recently decided to oppose slavery, and has long had problems with homophobia, and blacks, and women.

Brady, good guy that he is, thought a woman should replace him as Illinois GOP party chair.  Fat chance of that happening.

The Illinois GOP is idiotic to be embracing the religious right at a time when national Republicans are increasingly distancing themselves from the Frankenstein monster of intolerance that has ruined their party’s fortunes with women, gays, Latinos, black and pretty much every minority except Cubans.

Greg Sargent noted over at the Washington Post that Brady-bashing is all the more evidence that the Republican party isn’t yet ready for change.

At least once a week, Republicans — in one way or another — provide further evidence that genuine reform is not in the cards.

Greg notes that in spite of polls showing increased tolerance among Republicans, Republican voters still hate gays.  The problem, I’d argue, is that the GOP embrace of intolerance hasn’t been helping them at the national level.  It’s simply emboldened nutty national leaders like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and national political candidates like Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, to drive the majority of Americans further and further away from the GOP.

You don’t win national elections, and you don’t win over the next generation, by embracing “leaders” like Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli who’s running for governor on a platform that includes making all oral sex illegal.

Good luck with that.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • d3clark

    Cool. I grew up near Sasside, Baldwin. Relatives all around Carson Street near old Jayne Ell Mill. We gotta talk Isaly’s, jumbo sammiches, and Picksburgh Stillers.

  • marc

    If Michael Madigan in the House would push it along, it would pass. He has put no political capital into this issue. Governor Quinn is telling the House to take the vote and finish it already. Yes, the downstate Illinoisians can be a problem. The real problem is with the Democrats. If Madigan would get off his a$$ and push it through it would pass.

  • :-)

  • Sasside, trew the Liberty Tubes.

    Later, it was Nor-thills, but was years b’fore we saw our firs’ Gine-Iggle.

  • d3clark

    Yinz was from dahntahn? Sasside? Polish Hill?

  • George Melby

    OOOOoooo… YOU are being too kind, but I can’t think of anything worse… sorry! Thanks, karmanot!

  • FLL

    Similar to the situation in Minnesota, the pro-equality side in Illinois is expecting that it will have to pass the bill with no Republican votes. It looks like marriage equality will pass in Minnesota tomorrow with not a single Republican vote. So in that sense, you are correct; no one is figuring the Republicans into the equation at all, and they are, therefore, irrelevant to the outcome. With that in mind, the pro-equality side in Illinois needs Downstate Democrats. Although I live in Fort Lauderdale now, I’m originally from Chicago, and I well know that Illinois is a very long state from north to south. Cairo, at the southern tip of Illinois, is only about 170 miles from the state line of Mississippi. The population in southern Illinois tends toward Pentecostal, snake handling yahoos… Oh, darn! Did I just inadvertently insult anyone’s stupid relatives? And I’m trying so hard not to do that these days.

    [I overheard an evangelical Christian once react to inappropriate humor with this remark: “Even smiling makes my face ache.”]

  • Yep. I’ve heard locals refer to east NM as ‘West Texas’ and southern NM as ‘the Arizona Panhandle.’

  • Stev84

    The same way eastern Washington is western Idaho, while the area around Seattle is extremely progressive.

  • Given the family I grew up in, and my father in particular, I had to become fluent in bigotese, in the distinct western PA dialect.

  • Make that a flea circus and we have the size of it.

  • And, I for one will continue to demonize stupidity. . Error is forgivable, constructed stupidity is not. Nially, honey, the most insidious enemies of academic freedom are those who continuously write compendiums of other scholars work or corporate funded research to maintain publishing profiles. Just say’un..

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    It’s good to know that we have someone who can translate bigot to human.

  • Meanwhile, in a situation reported a few days ago here on AmericaBlog, it would appear that Niall Ferguson is looking to rescind or at least amend his previous apology for saying that Keynesian economic theory was invalid because John Maynard Keynes was probably gay and had no children.

    Ferguson: “What the self-appointed speech police of the blogosphere forget is that to err occasionally is an integral part of the learning process. And one of the things I learnt from my stupidity last week is that those who seek to demonize error, rather than forgive it, are among the most insidious enemies of academic freedom.

    Translation: “Yes, it was dumb of me to call Keynes a fag, but it was even worse for people to object.”

  • rmthunter

    Actually, one of the big problems with passing marriage equality looks to be Downstate Democrats more than Republicans. There’s not much space between them, so a Democratic majority is pretty dependent on the issue at hand.

  • No, thank you. :-)

  • Despite status as dinosaur in cardiac arrest, the GOP still clings to its prevailing myths: sexual orientation is a choice, a woman has no right to her body, rape is legitimate, global climate change is a hoax, the US is a Christian nation, theories are really hypotheses, trickle down economics really bring jobs, the US health care system is number one in patient outcomes & the envy of the world.

  • pappyvet

    Snort ! Guffaw !

  • That’s why we call it Aryanzonia.

  • Thank you. He is banned.

  • I’m sure our crack team of Moderators will remove that bigoted spew up there shortly.

  • FLL

    In an all-male group, that comment might fly… back in the early 1950s. Who’s in the closet now?

  • Abhor Fags

    Fuck yourself, cocksucker.

  • pappyvet

    Hatred and intolerance are part and parcel of who the repubes are.

    On March 23rd 1933 elected officials in Germany were to meet to vote on Hitler’s Enabling Law.
    As politicians neared the building, they found it surrounded by SS and SA thugs who tried to ensure that only Nazi or Nationalist politicians got into the building. With only Nazis and other rightwing politicians inside,the legislation passed quickly.
    On 7th April 1933, Nazi officials were put in charge of all local government in the provinces.
    On May 2nd 1933, trades unions were abolished, their funds taken and their leaders put in prison. The workers were given a May Day “holiday” instead. On May 6, 1933, the Deutsche Studentenschaft made an organised attack on the Institute of Sex Research. “We must exterminate these people root and branch… the homosexual must be eliminated.” Heinrich Himmler

    Hitler believed that homosexuality was “degenerate behavior” which posed a threat to the capacity of the state and the “masculine character” of the nation. Gay men were denounced as “enemies of the state” and charged with “corrupting” public morality and posing a threat to the German birthrate.

    “It not only is a complete undermining of the principles of family and marriage and the hope of future generations, but it completely begins to see our society break down to the extent that that foundational unit of the family that is the hope of survival of this country is diminished to the extent that it literally is a threat to the nation’s survival in the long run.” Tent Franks [r] Arizona

    “Homosexuality is a crime
    against humanity.”- Paul Cameron’s pamphlet “Criminality, Social Disruption and

  • nicho

    Take a deep breath. Hold it in until we say to let it out.

  • Seems to me that on average, only people over the age of 50 could think that Rubio has more charisma than a damp sponge.

  • FLL

    Think of elections as swimming competitors being thrown over the side of a boat. The DLC/corporatist Democrat (e.g., Hillary) wears only a bathing suit. The religious fundamentalists have convinced the Republican candidate that he will be more competitive with a pair of concrete overshoes. Of course, Hillary wins. Now if you added a progressive candidate who was wearing a proper pair of rubber flippers, the result would be different.

  • The GOP demand for 100% adherence and loyalty to party dogma continues to harden like a pair of concrete overshoes.

  • New Mexico is similar. The eastern third and the southern third are about as Red conservative as it can get, with it’s usual streak of quasi-libertarian, “Keep the gubmint outta my Ag subsidies and Medicare.”

    But the I-25 corridor starting just south of Albuquerque, running up through Santa Fe and Los Alamos, well into the northern part of the state is (1) where most of the population lives and (2) very progressive.

    We’re a rather swingy state though, in terms of individual offices. Hence we seem to voting Dem in national elections more often, but still have a GOP governor.

  • FLL

    Here in South Florida, younger Cuban-Americans are increasingly steering clear of the Republican Party. You want evidence of the Big Tent of the Republican Party? Marco Rubio is a fossil who is typical of a mostly elderly group of right-wing Cuban-Americans who are nostalgic for Cuba’s Batista dictatorship of the 1950s. These folks represent a miniscule group of voters who couldn’t win an election in Florida these days to save their lives. And there you have the Republican Party’s “Big Tent.” Hilarious, no?

  • jomicur

    Gee, it looks like that Big Tent we keep hearing about can’t house anything but a circus–full of clowns.

  • dula

    If he’s smart he’ll leave the Republican Party and join with the Neoliberal Party where his social and economic beliefs will be welcomed.

  • Massachusetts, where I live, is an interesting case. The rural counties of Western MA are by far the most liberal areas of the state. In 2012 Obama racked up huge margins in virtually every town in the region.

  • samizdat

    Missouri is like this, as well. St. Louis, KC, Columbia (main UoM campus), are for the most part the saner islands in a sea of crazy Confederate States of America. Not that we don’t have our own homophobic AA reps, but listening to, and reading the legislation proposed by, the outstate corporate whores is like listening in on a beer hall putsch.

  • FLL

    It looks like the Illinois legislature still may be able to pass marriage equality before it adjourns on May 31. The Illinois House is Democratic controlled (60%-40%) and the Illinois Senate is Democratic controlled (68%-32%). Chances look very good.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    It appears that Minnesota is quite a bit like Illinois, at least in politics. We speak of the liberal cities and the conservative outstate (anything other than the Twin Cities). In all honesty there are a few liberal areas outstate.

  • BrianG


    One has to realize that the IL GOP is now a totally downstate phenomenon. The suburban GOP has been diluted by well-to-do people who have left Chicago but are stridently liberal on social issues. With the exception of Champaign-Urbana, downstate Illinois is like Alabama. Take the town of Pekin, Illinois. Here is the largest “sundown” town in the nation where in the past there existed signs telling African-American to get out of town before sundown. Their high school nickname until 1980 was “the Chinks.” The Peoria mayor, Jim Ardis, a Republican, tried fighting crime with “40 days of prayer.” Taylorville, the home of freshman congressman Rodney Davis also has a history of racial and religious intolerance.

    Also this intolerance has been building within the republican party for some time. Jack Roeser, the homophobic Republican donor from Barrington is behind this. He made several statements years ago about the IL GOP being a “homosexual boys club” and had “solid rumors” about Sen. Mark Kirk’s orientation.

    The only good thing, i can see coming out of this Republican circular firing squad is watching a certain closeted downstate Congressman who likes to prey upon the gay community for his political gain squirm in fear of being outed.

  • rmthunter

    Wow — that’s a little over the top, John. Oberweis hasn’t been able to marshall the votes to oust Brady, and the word on Brady is that his wife is fighting ovarian cancer. My guess is that he’s just tired of the bullshit and is washing his hands — he has more important things to worry about right now.

    It looks like you’re trying to conflate the national GOP with the state party, and it’s not a good fit — the far right-wingers, if they get elected at all, don’t last long here. (Remember Penny Pullen, who introduced a bill to quarantine people who were HIV+? She lost her next election.) When we elect Republicans, they’re more like George Ryan or Judy Baar Topinka, who on social issues might as well be Democrats. (They’re better than a lot of Downstate Democrats on those issues.)

    Take a deep breath, let it out slowly. . . .

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