SPRINGFIELD — In January, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady put his support behind a push to legalize gay marriage in Illinois, sparking a revolt among some members of this party.

On Thursday, the Illinois Senate voted 34-21 in favor of a gay marriage law. Just one Republican — state Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington — voted “yes.”

Brady, who survived an attempt to oust him for his views on the issue, said he was glad the proposal is now moving on to the House.

“I give Jason a lot of credit. He represents a new generation of leaders in the party,” Brady said.

Barickman, a 37-year-old attorney who joined the Senate in January after beating state Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga, last year, said he decided to vote “yes” after helping draft an amendment to the legislation that is designed to protect churches from reprisals if Illinois becomes the 10th state in the nation to allow gays to marry.

“It’s a vote that I understand that some have varying opinions on, but I feel that I voted in the correct way,” Barickman said. “The language in the amendment preserves those religious liberties that are so important to so many people.”

Brady’s backing of gay marriage and Barickman’s vote come as a new poll shows public attitudes changing about gay marriage.

In a survey of 600 registered voters in Illinois conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, 45.5 percent of the respondents said gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry.

That’s up from a similar poll in 2010, when 33.6 percent of the respondents favored gay marriage.

“People are moving their support for civil unions to support for full marriage,” said Charles Leonard, a visiting professor at the institute and the director of the poll taken Jan. 27 to Feb. 8.

Barickman’s “yes” vote wasn’t the first time someone representing the generally Republican-leaning region voted in favor of gay rights. Before becoming state treasurer in 2010, Dan Rutherford, then a state senator, was the lone Republican to vote “yes” to legalize civil unions.

Barickman didn’t talk to Rutherford about the vote, but said, “The district I represent has a history of supporting those who are willing to do the right thing.”

Other GOP lawmakers said Brady’s support for gay marriage played no role in determining their positions.

“I think that most of us on this side had long forgotten what Pat Brady said,” state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, said. “That’s not to insult Pat Brady. It’s just that the Republican senators are making these decisions on behalf of their constituents and according to their consciences without regard to whatever Pat Brady has to say.”

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(24) comments


Good for Mr. Barickman...


Just another rhino...and the slippery slope continues.....


Time to vote him out!


Thank you, Jason! For this alone, I will vote for you in the next election!


Not all Republicans are backwards, closed-minded pushers of archaic unfair treatment of citizens. In fact- the GOP used to be the party of personal liberty, and government staying OUT of people's private lives. Somewhere along the line whackos like Jerry Falwell and his so-called "Moral Majority", and Pat Robertson and his senile "Gays are to blame for Katrina and Climate Change"and others of the extreme evangelical religious right asserted power over the party and brought chaos and interference. Bbut w/ evolving social attitudes of the new generation this nasty mess is slowly correcting itself. -Kevin Olomon (a gay conservative)


And Mr. Griz, I am beginning to believe that the Republican Party (of which I used to identify with) will never again be relevant if it does not return to a focus on personal liberty and the smallest government intrusion possible....perhaps it is time for the religious right to have their own party...


Well done, Barickman! Perhaps there's hope that the hate and prejudice so prevalent in the Republican party is waning. Thankfully one Republican votes for fairness and equal rights despite the pressure from conservative religious zealots.


It's nice to see someone brave enough to split from the party and vote for basic human rights. Reading Bill Brady's comments show why he will never get elected governor. Nice job Jason. Now lets see more Republicans follow your lead.


I respectfully but strongly disagree with Senator's Barickman's vote. Same sex couples are free to be same sex couples. The passage of this bill did not change that. Same sex couples can be same sex couples for as long as they choose. That is the current status of the law. But they should not be able to define what is and what is not a marriage. That is the only issue here. Don't confuse the issue. Marriage has always beed defined as between a man and a woman. The issue is same sex couples want to change that definition. No one is passing a law by preventing them from engaging in behavior in which they are already engaging. But we are now going to allow same sex couples to impose their morality on us by telling us how to define a marriage.
The argument goes that if two people love each other, who should stand in the way of them getting married. The argument goes that some people are just born this way or that way. Rightly or wrongly, and it does not really matther which one you choose, if the right to gay marriage is based solely on the argument that two people love each other, who should stand in the way, then who can stand in the way of an incestuous couple arguing they love each other, who can stand in the way. Or a polygamist couples arguing each in the group loves each other so who can stand in the way. It does not matter if you agree with that argument, the logic that the only consideration is love will lead to incestuous couples and polygamist couples arguing the same love logic as same sex couples. And how will you deny them marriage except imposing your view of marriage on them. The incestuous couple and polygamist couples will also argue they were born that way. And how will you deny them marriage except by imposing your view of marriage on them. Society has a right to define what is and what is not a legally recognized marriage. This has been the case throughout our history except now, when those who do not want to see marriage redefined take a stand, and those who want same sex marriage want to impose their morality on others because of an argument that no one has the right to stand in the way of love.
And this is not a civil rights issue. Polls, yes they do but go ahead and cite something else, show that a majority of African-Americans oppose same sex marriage. Why would they not see it as a civil rights issue? Those who disagree with me will have to run to that argument because they will not be able to rebut the arguments before this paragraph. Being denied the right to a same sex marriage is not the same as being denied a right because of the color of one's skin. African-Americans see it that way, and anybody who wants to get super upset and call me names, not respond in a professional way, or not respond in a way civil human beings should respond to each other, can do so. But notice, I called no one names nor was disrespectful to Senator Barickman or others.


If you really believe that "Society has a right to define what is and what is not a legally recognized marriage" then you should accept that it is in the process of being redefined by our society right now.


This is not about imposing "their" morality on "us" by redefining marriage. This is about gaining access to the societal benefits that we as heterosexuals already enjoy through marriage (treatment under the tax code, health care benefits, etc.). Blocking these rights because of sexual orientation is EXACTLY what makes this a civil rights issue.

You see, civil rights protect an individual's freedom from unwarranted infringement by the government and and other institutions and ensure their ability to participate in society without being subjected to discrimination and repression. Skin color is widely associated with civil rights, but the fact is it is just one of many things that can be, and have been, used to discriminate against people and violate their civil rights. Because of this, there is absolutely no merit in claiming gay marriage is not a civil rights issue simply because the concept is not widely endorsed by the African American community. It's a weak argument, and you'd be better served to stop using it to support your views.

For the record, I'm a heterosexual male, married with three kids, and a life-long Republican/Libertarian. My personal beliefs don't necessarily align with those of the gay community, but that doesn't change the fact they are citizens of our (not "our" as in heterosexuals, but "our" as in everyone's) society, and they deserve the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that you and I enjoy. They are people, and they deserve better than to be treated like second class citizens.


Optimistic, I know you think you are in the right and are speaking logically, but I couldn't disagree w/ you more. You're a mile off on this.

Your assertion seems to be that gays cannot impose "their morality" on str8s- but that str8s ought to be permitted to continue to assert THEIR morality on gays. Where is the accuracy or wisdom in THAT?

And no one is changing th definition of mariage- it remains THE SAME.

This is about expansion of rights to include more citizens- correcting to bring EQUALITY.

The difference is that now a whole segment of the population is no longer being prohibited from it.

When CInn-a-Bon expanded their cinnamon roll product to be sold at Schlotsky's Deli's- the recipe for the cinnamon rolls never changed- they were simply offered to more customers- widening sales. You can call that changing the definition of cinnamon rolls if you want- but that doesn't make it so.

I was a chef for years- private country clubs at one time excluded Blacks and Jews- now most do not. The country club didn't change- the membership policy was corrected and expanded to include those who'd long been denied access.You can call that changing the definition if you want- but that doesn't make it so.

And that's how it is w/ marriage equality. NOTHING changes- the inclusion is simply broadened to stop exclusion of others.

The definition of marriage is not being changed- its scope of inclusion is simply being corrected. Why is this such a diffcult concept for some to grasp?


I should have voted for Cultra in the primary.....



Euler 314

"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."


What does the fictitious fellow in the sky have to do with this?


This vote was not about democrats or republicans. It was about a legal question of what is to be recognized as a civil union. This law is about how the Constitution of the US is applied to all citizens. The basis in law (set by government) is not the same as basis in morality (set by the church), one can argue these points till the end times as a moral question but government needs and will have rules to live by that are equal for all. If you do not like what your government has done then do not belittle, put down and or try to disgrace your fellow citizen. Direct your anger toward your government.


Well said!


There are a lot of laws that need to be changed, case in point.....why is it that a child born out of wedlock to the state government is considered a ba5tard? This is a moral issue as well isn't it? There are A LOT OF MORAL ISSUES THAT ARE LAWS!

Euler 314

If the state were only married, the kid would be...genuine?


The radical liberal left has corrupt this society and twists everything to suit their agenda. Christians do not hate sinners, they hate the sin. This ideology they cannot fathom for they hate sinners for their sins (example in their eyes those that don't believe their global warming propaganda are thus sinners against their religion/agenda of global warming and they will do everything they can to personally destroy you). Christians propose ideals and legislation that dissuade the sin, a concept the compromised mainstream culture can not accept as they attempt to become god and move from the true God.


Please stop asserting that you represent or speak for Christians. Countless churches accept and celebrate gay congregants. YOU might think they have no place in your pew, and that they're going to burn in hell, but many churches, pastors and congragants DISAGREE.

Voz deRaison

A Republican that thinks for himself. Be careful Senator Barickman; the teabag, evangelical snake handlers, blue haired Southern matrons, and Old White Men's Club Republicans will want you displayed in the Smithsonian with the last Passenger Pigeon, and Do Do bird.

Congratulations! You are what the GOP needs so desperately. Keep it up.


Ironic how the same people who are up in arms about their constiutional rights (2nd amendment etc..) are so quick to throw that little section about church and state seperation out the window. If one is willing to remember that was a major selling point in creating our own FREE county. I applaud his free thinking. Until the government forces a priest to wed a gay couple in a church I don't see many problems here.

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