State Sen. Jason Barickman was the only Republican to vote yes on same-sex marriage in the Senate. (Photo Courtesy Jason Barickman)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said Friday his "yes" vote on the Senate's same-sex marriage legislation was based upon upholding three important principles.
"That people should be able to practice the religion that they believe in. I think individuals should have the freedom to make their own life decisions, and I think we all want fairness under the law," he said.
Barickman negotiated an amendment to the bill which states no church or other religious organization will be forced to solemnize same-sex marriages.
"The way I approached this issue is from a frame of mind that, the question before us is how is it enacted? With that mindset, I tried to make sure that we preserve the religious freedoms that I think are important to all kinds of people around the state," he said.
Barickman was the only Republican to vote yes on the bill, which passed the Senate 34-21 on Thursday. He said he's been getting both positive and negative constituent feedback about the decision.
Bishops in Illinois, led by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, have said they oppose the idea as being against the "natural order.''
Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he will sign the bill if the House approves it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Paul Morello can be reached at email@example.com.