On February 14, 2013, Illinois State Senator Jason Barickman stood alone.
Jason Barickman was the only Republican in the Illinois Senate to vote YES for SB 10 The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. With his vote, the bill to give marriage equality to same-sex couples passed the Senate by a margin of 34-21-2 and advanced to the Illinois House for final approval.
Senator Barickman surprised many people with his thoughtful vote that day. Here’s how he explained it on the Senate floor:
“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 for me, this is simply the right thing to do. I will be voting yes to Senate Bill 10.”
Since his principled stance last week, Senator Barickman has become a punching bag for religious right activists and extremist groups. As the marriage equality bill heads to the floor of the Illinois House, these religious right extremists are descending on Springfield.
They’re trying to scare moderate and conservative State Representatives into opposing the equality bill by threatening them with the same treatment they are giving Jason Barickman.
We have to prove courageous leaders won’t stand alone when they do the right thing for ALL families.
Senator Barickman deserves our thanks. Other legislators getting ready to vote need to know we will stand behind them if they have the guts to stand up to the Religious Right.
And invite other progressive Christian friends to do the same.
This vote in the Illinois General Assembly is the next step in our national effort to have thousands of Christian progressives advance a new political agenda to help ALL families. Tell Senator Barickman you have his back and will stand up to the religious extremist