by Todd Wineburner
State Senator Jason Barickman says he has concerns about the final form of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act--the legislation that will allow same-sex marriage in Illinois if passed. Barickman says he's talked to the sponsors of the bill, asking them to strengthen protections for religious institutions that don't endorse same-sex marriage. Barickman and others are concerned that churches might find themselves vulnerable to legislation if they refuse to marry a given couple based on religious objections.
As of this writing, Barickman hadn't seen the final form of the bill, but he hopes his concerns have been taken into account. Given the balance of power in the Senate, it seems likely the bill will pass. The Illinois House announced last year that they wouldn't begin a discussion of the issue until the Senate made a decision, so their debate will come next. Governor Pat Quinn says he'll likely sign the measure should it come to his desk.