Illinois

Illinois GOP Chairman Faces Heat for Supporting End to Gay Marriage Ban

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Two Illinois Republicans are finding out that for all the talk nationally of the GOP becoming more inclusive and appealing to voters by softening stances on social issues, it's difficult to actually follow through.

The state Republican Party's central committee will meet Saturday to consider firing chairman Pat Brady, largely because he spoke out in favor of a bill to end Illinois' ban on gay marriage. And the only Republican state senator to vote in favor of same-sex marriage, Sen. Jason Barickman, has been chastised by his colleagues and a national organization opposing the measure.

Brady and Barickman say they've heard from hundreds of people since taking their positions earlier this year — some were thankful, others excoriated them. A conservative organization even posted Brady's cellphone number online and his voicemail quickly filled up while on vacation with words he said he "didn't know were in the Bible."