Pat Brady resigns over marriage equality.

Illinois chair resigns over gay marriage.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the chairman of the Illinois GOP, Pat Brady, has resigned over controversy of his support for marriage equality.

With same-sex marriage legislation pending in the Illinois legislature, Brady this year voiced his support for the proposal despite a plank in the state GOP platform that said marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman. Brady said he made the endorsement personally, not as Republican chairman, but conservatives in the top echelon of the GOP party quickly complained.

At Think Progress, Zack Ford provides additional information on Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady’s resignation:

In January, Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady began calling lawmakers urging them to support marriage equality. Despite threats from the National Organization for Marriage and fellow Republicans, he stood by his position. Brady then survived three different attempts to oust him from his position … .

In making his announcement, Brady cited “personal and professional reasons, including his wife’s ongoing battle with ovarian cancer.”

In Illinois, the Republican party has divided over the marriage equality question. As Ford writes:

The divisions in the party over Brady’s position on same-sex marriage have been considered by some to be a microcosm of the Republican Party’s struggles nationally, particularly its attempt to sugarcoat its anti-gay positions while still embracing them wholeheartedly.

The Illinois House has stalled voting on marriage equality legislation, but Gov. Pat Quinn (D) believes the bill is within “˜striking distance.’ The state’s Senate passed the bill 34-21 back in February.