Marriage and morality: Why Republican Party leadership matters

In 2005 and 2006, the Andy McKenna led Illinois Republican Party was the only state party organization in the nation to turn its back on a grassroots effort to protect marriage.

What hasn’t received nearly enough attention is the fact that the Illinois Republican Party’s State Central Committee went right along with McKenna’s effort to ignore the GOP’s base and the party’s platform principles.

Here is what the Illinois Republican Party’s 2008 Platform has to say on the issue:


The family is society’s central building block. Thus, efforts to strengthen family life are efforts to improve life for everyone.

Our children need secure and nurturing environments, which are best found within the traditional family. No law should be enacted nor policy implemented without fully contemplating the effect it would have on children and their families.

Though not universally achievable, the ideal, best environment for children is within a two-parent family based on the principle of marriage between one man and one woman. The Republican Party endorses a constitutional amendment protecting our Defense of Marriage Act and enshrining in constitutional law marriage as it is defined in our ‘DOMA.’

Our laws should strongly support and celebrate the loving commitment a man and a woman make to each other in marriage. Our laws should strongly support and celebrate a loving, married couple bringing new life into the world and rearing their children in a secure and nurturing environment from conception to adulthood. No law should undermine the importance of that union, divide that union nor unduly burden the efforts of parents to rear a family in a safe and nurturing environment.”

Clearly there are consequences when our Republican Party leaders are feckless and inept. Rank and file platform supporting Republicans have all experienced this kind of thing for years.

This is the same Central Committee that needs to face Republican primary voters – but currently is shielded from that kind of accountability. Twenty years ago the good old boys in the GOP took away the right of Republican voters to choose their party’s leadership.

Republican elected officials Tom Cross, Bill Brady and Peter Roskam think the process of choosing our party’s leadership is working just fine and dandy.

Of course the protection of marriage is only one aspect of the struggle to defend traditional values against the purveyors of so-called “homosexual rights.”

Now, this past Thursday an Illinois house committee passed a homosexual civil unions bill. The local Chicago NBC affiliate didn’t even attempt to be balanced in their report about the civil unions bill. This is no big surprise, however, since the local NBC affiliate gleefully sponsors a float in Chicago’s annual homosexual sex “pride” parade.

In 2005 the passage of a so-called “homosexual rights” bill was another attempt to pretend that human sexual impulses should be treated the same as immutable human traits like gender and race. We would especially hope that all Republican legislators and party officials would take themselves to school on this issue and do their part to carry the message to Illinois voters.

The potential passage of a “civil unions” bill is one more issue where the party leadership has failed.

It’s time for Republican voters to be given the right to directly elect their senior party leadership. We can’t afford the current system that produces these kinds of leaders any longer.