US: Republican senator attacks Illinois same-sex marriage bill as ‘discriminatory’ towards straight people
Republican Illinois Senator Kyle McCarter took to his Facebook page last week and condemned the state Senate’s 34-21 vote approving a bill to try to legalise same-sex marriage, calling it “damage done to the state.”
Following the passage of the bill on Valentine’s Day that could bring marriage equality to the state of Illinois, Senator McCarter, who represents its 51st District, wrote on his Facebook page: “To redefine marriage is discriminatory towards those who hold the sincerely held religious belief that it is a sacred institution between a man & a woman.”
The status updates have since been removed from his Facebook page.
Last Thursday, he drew laughter from marriage equality supporters when he argued against the bill and claimed that it would force flower shops and other “wedding-related” businesses to close.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, he said: “Businesses will be affected. Bed and breakfasts, florists, all those that are wedding-related, will be affected. They will choose to, most of them, dissolve their businesses. That’s what happened in other states.”
Senator McCarter even disapproved of the vote taking place on Valentine’s Day, saying supporters voted on the “holiday to celebrate love to disguise what is truly a devaluing of traditional marriage.”
During his testimony, Senator McCarter also said: “people have the right to live as they choose. They don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us… we are jeopardising freedom, not expanding it.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has commented on the vote by saying: “when two people love each other, no government entity should stand in the way of letting them express that love.”
The Senate attached an amendment before passing the legislation that states no church or religious organisation would be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
It also said that churches could not be sued if they did not allow parishes to be used for equal marriage ceremonies.