Entries from: The Republican Party

Illinois GOP chair quits after marriage equality tussle

bradygopillIllinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady today resigned his post in part, he said, because his personal support for marriage equality cost him the support of social conservatives in the party.  The move comes as some in the GOP are resisting efforts to broaden the party’s appeal and tone down anti-gay rhetoric.

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk is one of two Senate Republicans to announce their support of marriage rights for same-sex couples.  ”I agree with him, we need to get on the right side of history,” said Brady.  ”It’s about addition and not subtraction, and if we come off as mean-spirited or angry or too dogmatic, then we don’t attract people to the party,” Brady told the Chicago Tribune.

State GOP operatives upset with Brady’s vocal support for a pending marriage equality bill have tried for weeks to remove him, finally settling on a transition plan that made clear Brady was no longer welcome.

California GOP considers platform change on LGBT issues

gopProposed platform language designed to broaden the party’s appeal could see California’s GOP downplay its opposition to LGBT equality, according to a report in the New York Times.

Party moderates have put forward a platform document that lessens the visibility of opposition to marriage equality and eliminates language opposing domestic partner benefits and adoption by gay couples.  Other proposed changes soften language on gun control, immigration and abortion.

Political observers say the state party has long had “bickering factions” split over whether to try to appeal to more moderate voters.  ”It’s possible to have a broadly conservative party that doesn’t agree on every specific.  The guy who was able to thread the needle on this was Reagan — he was able to include the moderates,” said Jack Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College.

Tea Party leaders urge GOP to avoid social issues

59938698Gay conservatives who want Republicans to focus on fiscal rather than social issues have found some support among Tea Party leaders.

GOProud, a group that says it represents gay conservatives and their allies, has released a letter co-signed by leaders from groups such as Tea Party Patriots and New American Patriots urging the party to avoid social issues like marriage equality and abortion, according to a report in Politico.

“On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement.  This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue,” reads the letter to Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Politico talked to Tea Party officials who signed the letter:

“When they were out in the Boston Harbor, they weren’t arguing about who was gay or who was having an abortion,” said Ralph King, a letter signatory who is a Tea Party Patriots national leadership council member, as well as an Ohio co-coordinator.

King said he signed onto the letter because GOProud seemed to be genuine in pushing for fiscal conservatism and limited government.

“Am I going to be the best man at a same sex-marriage wedding? That’s not something I necessarily believe in,” said King. “I look at myself as pretty socially conservative. But that’s not what we push through the Tea Party Patriots.”

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Log Cabin Republicans see “Pledge” document as a win

R_Clarke_Cooper_1R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, says he wants his party’s politicos to at least stop the anti-gay rhetoric, even if they can’t embrace civil rights for LGBT Americans.

That view may have tempered the party’s “Pledge to America,” a document outlining what the GOP wants to do if it wins control of Congress in the mid-term elections, according to a report in the Washington Post:

Social conservatives wanted an affirmation in the document of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Party leaders told them that voters are mainly concerned with the economy this year, and that they were not sure that the agenda should include such issues.

The Pledge ended up with a line in its preamble extolling “traditional marriage,” a phrase that conservative groups like, but little else on gay rights issues.

Cooper said the Pledge was a “win” because it did not highlight measures against gay rights. Paradoxically, so did Tony Perkins, head of the conservative Family Research Council in Washington.

“While it could have played a bigger role in the Pledge,” Perkins said, “the Republicans’ commitment to life, traditional marriage and religious liberty is a major step in the right direction.”

Report: GOP legislative agenda to mention marriage

gopThough some Republicans reportedly fought behind closed doors to keep social issues out of it, the GOP’s “Pledge to America,” a set of legislative priorities to be revealed tomorrow, will include language acknowledging the party’s support for traditional marriage, according to a report in Politico:

The document, to be unveiled at a hardware store in Sterling, Va., will include “a commitment to life and a commitment to marriage,” one source said.

Two other sources cautioned that the language on marriage is likely to be in the preamble to a series of legislative goals and that an effort to put a bill along the lines of the Defense of Marriage Act into the package was rebuffed.

House Republicans had a spirited debate behind closed doors about the degree to which social issues should be included in the new agenda, and social conservatives have been pressing for the GOP to be more explicit in putting social issues in writing on this 2010 agenda.