CHICAGO — Illinois Republican Party leaders are scheduled to meet Saturday in southwest suburban Tinley Park to discuss the fate of Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady.
Leaders are meeting to decide whether Brady will continue to head the state's Republican Party following his public backing of same-sex marriage legislation in Illinois last January.
The party's state central committee is scheduled to meet Saturday at 11 a.m. at Tinley Park's convention center to discuss the matter in what's likely to be a closed-door meeting, party officials said. Seven central committee members called for a vote of no confidence, and officials said the decision to unseat Brady could be made at the meeting.
In Chicago, Republican leaders said Friday they were disappointed in Brady's leadership. Cook County Republican Party Chairman Aaron Del Mar said his organization has not officially taken a stance either way on whether or not Brady should go.
"I personally think that Brady is not a bad guy," Del Mar said. "I was disappointed in the way that he took action regarding these issues."
Del Mar and other Republican leaders said the vote is not about same-sex marriage per se.
"I don't think the issue is regarding gay rights at all. I think the issue is that he took action without the support of the state central committee and the Illinois State County Chairmen Association," Del Mar said.
Del Mar said the issue is Brady disregarded the party's official platform. The Illinois GOP approved a platform last June that embraces the "traditional family" and states marriage is a union between "one man and one woman."
"He should have followed the Illinois Republican Platform," Del Mar said. "If he didn't want to follow the Republican platform, he should have gone to the state central committee, got the 'OK' and then move forward. But he didn't, so there you go.
Chris Cleveland, the vice chairman of the Chicago Republican Party agreed. Cleveland said the Chicago Republican Party also has not taken an official stance on Brady's support of gay marriage or whether or not he should go, but Cleveland said it is important for the party's chairman to follow the platform. He said otherwise, what is the point of having a platform.
"If the platform is to have meaning we all need to sing from the same songbook," Cleveland said. "If he didn't like the policy, he should have made efforts to change it and gone to the platform committee and proposed an amendment, but he didn't do that."
Cleveland said he believes Brady's actions have been a big distraction for the GOP in Illinois.
"We think that it's very important to resolve this issue quickly because we've got a very big year in 2014," Cleveland said. "We all need to be on the same page, so I think we're all looking forward to just getting past this."
"This is an issue we are very supportive of," said Gregory Angelo, executive director of
the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization that supports gay rights. "We are certainly supporters of civil marriage of same-sex couples."
Angelo declined to comment on Brady's situation, deferring to the local chapter, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.