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Editorial: Ill. moves toward gay marriage as state GOP self-destructs

Newly elected Illinois Republican Party Chairman PBrady acknowledges applauds while Illinois State Fair during Republican Day rally Springfield Ill. Thursday

Newly elected Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady acknowledges applauds while at the Illinois State Fair during a Republican Day rally in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Aug 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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Updated: March 28, 2013 6:39AM

Illinois Republicans looking to dump their party chairman for daring to support same-sex marriage have a point.

The party does oppose gay marriage, after all. And now that Pat Brady has come out strongly for gay marriage in Illinois — even if he is speaking for himself, not for the party — it feels treasonous.

So we get the drive to oust Brady, which may happen next week.

But Pat Brady is not the problem.

The problem is the GOP stand against gay marriage.

The GOP stance is discriminatory and out of step with where Illinois and the nation are headed. It’s also dumb politically, as Brady deeply appreciates. Not for nothing is the GOP getting hammered across the country.

Look no further than the Illinois Legislature: Late Tuesday, a House committee approved a same-sex marriage bill, following passage by the Senate on Valentine’s Day. A full House vote could follow next week.

And if it doesn’t become law now, there’s little doubt it will one day soon.

Wisely, Pat Brady is trying to lead the way to a more inclusive Republican party.

“Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles,” Brady said last month.

“It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value — that the law should treat all citizens equally.”

Some fine political pandering? Sure. But it’s also true and politically smart.

Republicans were trounced last fall in part because the GOP lost support among women, blacks, Hispanics and young people, groups that tend to support the right of same-sex couples to marry.

And Brady’s hardly on the fringe here.

Seventy-five high-profile Republicans have signed a legal brief arguing that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, the New York Times reported Tuesday. The brief is to be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

So go ahead and oust Brady.

Chalk it up as yet another self-destructive act by Illinois’ Republican Party.

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