The marriage equality bill is splitting apart some churches and, to a lesser extent, the political parties in Illinois, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
The state Republican Party is poised to oust its own chairman over his support of the bill. Some African-American Democrats — including Rep. Eddie Jackson of East St. Louis — are also breaking ranks, by opposing it.
And in Southern Illinois, a Lutheran state senator’s “yes” vote has rocked his church’s congregation, prompting a letter from an official of his denomination.
But it has hit the GOP the hardest:
Among the few Democratic “no” votes was state Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, who slammed the bill as “a strike at the heart” of marriage. The only Republican in support was Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, whose “yes” vote drew audible gasps on the Senate floor. Republicans especially have been torn on the issue. Among those working to persuade Senate Republicans to support the bill was Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady. His break from the party’s official position has prompted other party leaders to schedule a March 9 meeting to consider his ouster.