While only one Senate Republican voted in favor of the same sex marriage bill that gained approval of the Illinois Senate, Rep. Renée Kosel, R-New Lenox, foresees significant debate in the House of Representatives.
"It's a bipartisan issue. I'm not supporting it," she said, but the bill has advocates on both sides of the aisle. "I haven't done a head count, but it's close," said Kosel, who represents the 37th District, serving all or portions of New Lenox, Mokena, Frankfort, Tinley Park and Orland Park.
Personally, Kosel said the bill runs counter to her faith. At the same time, what concerns her is how the bill would affect religious organizations. The legislation becomes problematic in regard to the religious liberty of church organizations. There are questions about the bill's potential to infringe on the rights of organizations' basic beliefs by refusing protections that limits property use policies.
Speaking of the issue of religious liberties, the sole Republican to vote in favor of the bill on Feb. 14, Bloomington's Sen. James Barickman, addressed the matter in story in the Pantagraph. "The language in the amendment preserves those religious liberties that are so important to so many people.”
Sen. Michael Hastings, an Orland Hills-based Democrat whose 19th legislative district stretches from New Lenox to Matteson, voted in favor of the bill.
Hastings was one of 34 senators in a bipartisan vote to advance Senate Bill 10 to the Illinois House – a bill that redefines the state’s definition of marriage.
“This is a controversial issue that I did not take lightly,” Hastings said. “But after speaking with constituents and community leaders, it was clear that a majority supports marriage equality.”
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