After a contentious debate, the Illinois State Republican Party voted May 20 at its convention in Peoria to retain a plank preserving its 2012 language that said marriage should be between a man and a woman, according to reports.
The party had been considering a resolution that, while preserving a "traditional" definition of marriage and family, acknowledged that a wide variety of opinions existed and that non-traditional families were entitled to respect and protection, State Journal-Register reported.
Party insiders said delegates were not motivated to change the language, which was written as the state was debating marriage equality in the legislature and in its courts. They also said the issue was still important to Republican politicians facing off against conservative Democrats in their districts.
"There's no groundswell out there amongst Republicans to change the definition of marriage," said state Rep. Peter Breen ( R-Lombard ). "It's a core Republican principle across the country." Breen represented the Thomas More Society when that organization opposed marriage equality in court.
The change had passed the GOP platform committee earlier that day, but opponents called for a floor debate and vote at the convention. Out of 978 delegates in attendance, 782 rejected the change. Gov. Bruce Rauner refused to weigh in on the issue.
The State Journal-Register article is at bit.ly/1WbBcE0 .