Saturday, May 21, 2016

State GOP rejects gay marriage

Not a university issue per se, but still striking: Delegates at the state GOP convention have overwhelmingly defeated a compromise plank that would remove language in favor of a US constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. They are thus still in favor of a constitutional amendment which would overturn the 2015 Supreme Court decision making gay marriage legal in all 50 states, not to mention the 2013 law that made gay marriage legal in Illinois. Even the compromise proposal they rejected would have retained "religious freedom" language of the sort used to justify businesses in denying service to gay couples.

Capitol Fax notes that Terri Bryant (as tweeted by WBEZ reporter Tony Arnold) spoke in opposition to a move to change the platform: "How will I win reelection if there is no difference between the Democrats and me?" Congressman Mike Bost also spoke out against the compromise proposal, which had been favored by some in the party leadership. All told, 782 of the 978 GOP delegates rejected the compromise proposal. The Illinois Review has a detailed story on the vote (from its conservative perspective).

If Terri Bryant thinks that gay marriage is the only difference between the state GOP and Democrats, she hasn't been paying attention. There was a time when I think we could have considered the Illinois Republicans Party moderate, by and large. That time has passed, if ever it was.

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