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:

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