Religious Liberty Used as Cover for Republican Senator Barickman’s Lousy Vote

Written by Laurie Higgins

In response to an article we sent out over the weekend, we have been hearing from concerned constituents in Senator Jason Barickman’s legislative district who are unhappy with the response his office is sending out regarding his vote in favor of legalizing “same-sex marriage.” Barickman’s constituents have much cause to be troubled by both his vote and his feckless defense of it.

In a response to an IFI voter guide survey prior to the election, Jason Barickman stated that he supports an amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and just a few months later, he voted to legalize “same-sex marriage.” He is now using religious liberty protections as political cover for his indefensible vote.

The amendment Sen. Barickman is using to rationalize his vote is a terrible amendment. The religious liberty protections added in the amendment are laughably inadequate. If this amendment were so good, why was Sen. Barickman the only Republican to vote for the bill? Using vague language, Barickman is telling constituents what the amendment may protect while conveniently omitting what the amendment will not protect.

His constituents should ask him if the language in the amendment will ensure that Christians who own businesses related to weddings will be permitted to refuse to provide their services for homosexual “marriages.” For example, they should ask him if his amendment will permit Christians who videotape or photograph weddings, or cater weddings, or make wedding cakes, or provide flowers, or who own bed & breakfasts or wedding reception venues to refuse to provide their services for homosexual “wedding.”

They should ask Sen. Barickman if his amendment will permit Catholic or Protestant private schools to refuse to hire, for example, a secretary or custodian who is in a homosexual “marriage.”

All the amendment did was to protect the right of churches and other religious facilities to refuse to rent out their buildings for homosexual “marriages.” That’s it.

In today’s IFI article, there are more questions that Sen. Barickman should be compelled to answer:  http://illinoisfamily.org/homosexuality/urgent-protect-marriage-in-illinois/.

Barickman’s vote, his duplicity, and his dissembling should motivate his constituents to start looking now for his replacement.

Illinois Senate Votes to Support Homosexual “Marriage”

Senator Jason Barickman Breaks With GOP

Written by David E. Smith, IFA Executive Director

Despite the fact that Illinois is facing serious financial and unemployment issues, including a bankrupt pension system, the Illinois Senate recently approved a bill to redefine marriage and family — on St. Valentine’s Day no less.

The vote results were 34-21 with 2 voting present.  This destructive and foolish decision reveals the ignorance — or in some cases cowardice — of those who voted for the legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriage. Lawmakers who approved this proposal have now formally and publicly declared that government-sanctioned marriage has no inherent connection to sexual complementarity or reproductive potential. They have proclaimed that the sole inherent constituent feature of marriage is love.

One of the legislators in the Illinois Senate who joined with anti-family proponents of same-sex marriage is Jason Barickman, a freshman Republican Senator from Bloomington.  Barickman, as recently as last week, pledged to McLean County GOP Chairman John Parrott that he was against the proposal.  He didn’t follow through on that promise.

In the IFI Voter Guide, he also claimed to support an Illinois marriage amendment to permanently define marriage as one man, one woman in the state constitution.  Did Barickman “evolve” on this issue over the past four months like President Barack Obama?  Barickman may think that his four-year term will help insulate him from the consequences of his foolish vote; but the fact that he was the lone Republican to vote to pass this anti-family measure in the Illinois Senate will certainly make him a tier one target in the Republican primary in 2016.

What makes matters worse is the fact that Senator Barickman’s district includes the city of Paxton, the site of Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast.  The small business is owned by Jim Walder, a father of five children who is under attack from homosexual activists because he doesn’t want to rent his facility for a homosexual ceremony.  You see, Mr. Walder is a Christian, and the celebration of homosexuality violates his deeply-held beliefs.  He only wants to operate his business for the honor and glory of the Lord.  The liberal agents of tolerance and diversity cannot abide this.

Both the Illinois Attorney General and the Illinois Department of Human Rights are suing him.  It’s been an emotionally devastating experience for the Walders who did not ask for this battle.  The government of Illinois is determined to make Mr. Walder bow at the altar of progressive humanism.  If he does not, he will be punished.

Thanks in part to the vote earlier this week, our lawmakers in the Illinois Senate, including Mr. Walder’s own state senator, Jason Barickman, gave approval to a radical liberal social policy that provides pitifully weak religious liberty protections for churches and clergy members.  Lay people of faith and moral conscience, people like Jim Walder, have absolutely no protection.

Moreover, Senator Barickman is misleading people by suggesting the only reason he voted for the same-sex marriage bill is because he wanted to protect religious liberties. That claim is, at best, disingenuous.

These are his own words from the senate floor — speaking in favor of marriage redefinition:

“Along with these religious protections, I believe the people of Illinois want our government to give individuals freedom over their life decisions. We want fairness under the law. And so for me, this is simply the right thing to do. I will be voting yes to Senate Bill 10. Thank you.”

“Freedom?” — homosexuals have the liberty to have relationships with any consenting adult they wish.  Who is denying them “freedom?”

“Fairness?” — the suggestion is that homosexual relationships are equal to that of heterosexual relationships.  That is not true.  Homosexual relationships are NOT equal to one man, one woman marriage.  Treating them as if they were different is fair.  They are different! Moreover, is it fair that Christian business-owners like Jim Walder have to violate their convictions and violate their religious beliefs or face government legal action and penalties?

“The right thing to do?”  — the right thing to do would have been to speak and vote in favor of the institutions of marriage and family and not cave into the pressure from the homosexual lobby.  The right thing to do would have been to fight for the best interest of children, freedom of conscience, religious liberty and the traditional culture of Illinois.  The right thing to do would have been to stand boldly against the radical agents of change.

Sen. Barickman’s closing arguments on the Illinois Senate floor are shocking.  He used all the right liberal slogans in his advocacy for this terrible legislation.  His predecessor, Senator Shane Cultra, would have never succumbed to the lies of the Left.

IFI’s Laurie Higgins proposes that Sen. Barickman and other proponents of marriage redefinition answer this question: “If government-recognized marriage is solely about love with no inherent connection to either sexual complementarity or reproductive potential, why shouldn’t plural marriages or homosexual sibling ‘marriages’ be legalized?”

Or to put it more plainly, if marriage is solely about “love,” why are we banning the “B” in LGBTQ from marrying both a male and a female? Why limit it to only two?  Of course, it isn’t hard to imagine that this will be on the slippery slope agenda in a few short years.

Take ACTION: Send an email to Senator Barickman at jason@jasonbarickman.org.  Let him know how disappointed you are in his willingness to abandon the families and traditional values that make Illinois and America great.  You can also call his district office at (309) 661-2788.

Any lawmaker who claims that this law will not undermine religious liberty, freedom of conscience or parental rights is either foolish or lying.

President Obama Retreads the Same Failed Agenda

Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise today released the following statement after President Obama’s State of the Union address.

“It’s fitting that President Obama gave his State of the Union on Mardi Gras Day, since he’s spent the last four years throwing record levels of taxpayer money at failed federal programs like cheap beads at a parade,” Scalise said.  “If higher taxes and more government spending were the solution to our economic woes, our economy would be humming on all cylinders, but all the middle class has to show for the last four years is a hangover of record debt and a weak economy that hasn’t produce jobs for hard-working families.

“Unemployment hovered above or around eight percent throughout President Obama’s entire first term.  The president’s attempts at job creation and middle class revitalization have proven hollow and damaging.  The Keystone XL pipeline sits unapproved and with it, more than 20,000 American jobs remain sidelined.  Billions of dollars in new middle-class taxes are now starting to hit American families and small businesses, and the full weight of Obamacare, with its mountains of radical regulations, are already leading to higher health care costs and more lost jobs.  It’s time for President Obama to get serious about addressing the problems facing our nation and abandon his failed tax, regulate, and spend agenda.

“For more than four years, the American people have been subjected to President Obama’s empty rhetoric, and tonight’s State of the Union was no different as he chose to retread the same failed agenda that has divided our country and handcuffed our economy throughout his entire presidency.  American families are tired of Washington politicians who over-promise and under-deliver.  House Republicans will continue to propose conservative solutions to strengthen our economy and grow American jobs so we can rebuild our middle class by creating better opportunities and higher wages for struggling families, and liberals in the White House and Congress should join with us.”

“Our Illinois” Helps Gov. Quinn Avoid “Actual Illinois”

Written by Dan Proft, WLS Radio Host

Winston Churchill reportedly said of Clement Attlee, the man he both preceded and succeeded as Prime Minister, that Attlee was “a sheep in sheep’s clothing.”

I write here not to review British political history but to wonder aloud what Churchill would say about the dithering of inconsequential men in the face of crisis today. That rumination inevitably leads me to Governor Pat Quinn’s State of the State Address in Springfield on Wednesday.

Quinn created the cartoon character Squeezy the Pension Python to explain the depths of the fiscal abyss that is the state’s public sector pension system to low information voters like the members of the General Assembly.

Squeezy has been such a hit that Quinn enlisted Barney to write a kindergarten-friendly State of the State Address about a fantastical world called “Our Illinois”.

In Our Illinois, “we leave no worker behind,” according to Quinn. Back in Actual Illinois, this news must have come as quite a surprise to the 9% of Illinoisans (truly more like 15%) who are unemployed.

In Our Illinois, “small business means big business,” said Quinn and therefore, “Driving economic growth for small businesses requires doing all we can to make sure government is not in the way.” Back in Actual Illinois, small businesses are paying the fourth-highest combined national-local corporate tax in the industrialized world. In Actual Illinois, the only way to get state government to ignore your business is if you’re sitting on stacks of unpaid invoices for services rendered to state agencies.

In Our Illinois, Quinn has “signed into law education reforms that put the students of Illinois first.” Back in Actual Illinois, two-thirds of fourth graders are not grade-level proficient in reading or math to say nothing of student performance in Actual Chicago.

Our Illinois is corruption-free zone of Burkean representative democracy because Quinn “passed a strong ethics code for office holders and public employees.”  Back in Actual Illinois, Quinn’s two-time gubernatorial running mate,  a man Quinn described as “a person who’s honest and one of integrity,” is doing a 14-year stretch in a federal prison in Colorado and three state legislators have been arrested since the codification of that “strong ethics code” of which Quinn spoke.

If only the woozy dreamland that is Our Illinois was distinguishable from Actual Illinois perhaps the nearly one million individuals who have fled Illinois over the past 15 years for friendlier confines would have simply populated Pat Quinn’s state of delusion instead.

But as long as Actual Illinois is populated by flocks of voters who behave like “sheep in sheep’s clothing” Pat Quinn is our shepherd.

Modified by Matthew Medlen.com