As dozens gather in Springfield today to rally in support of a gay marriage bill in Illinois, Jacksonville’s state representative says he won’t be voting in favor of the proposal.
While it appears support for gay marriage is growing in some parts of Illinois, State Rep C. D. Davidsmeyer says he’s hearing mostly opposition in his district.
“Anytime you have an issue that, for instance, I’m not directly affected by it so it’s hard for me to walk another person’s shoes, but when I hear from my district I would say 100 to 1 they’re against it,” says Davidsmeyer. “So, representing my district that’s where I will be.”
Davidsmeyer says those adverse to the bill in his district appear to be morally opposed to gay marriage. The proposal would change the definition of marriage in Illinois from an act between a man and a woman to an act between two people.
The legislation wouldn’t force religious organizations to perform gay marriages, but Davidsmeyer is concerned the bill doesn’t go far enough to protect them.
For example, religious officials say they might be forced to provide health insurance to an employee’s same-sex spouse.
“I don’t see those protections in the bill,” says Davidsmeyer. “They’ve made attempts but I don’t think it goes far enough to make sure it protects each person’s individual religious freedom.”
The House sponsor of the bill, Greg Harris, hasn’t decided if he’ll bring it up for a vote during veto session.