Illinois state Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, has introduced legislation that supposedly protects individuals and business entities opposed to same-sex marriage against charges of discrimination.
SB 2164, or the Religious Freedom Defense Act, "prohibits the State and local governments from taking discriminatory action against a person if the person believes or acts under a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is only between one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage."
The measure was introduced July 28 and has been referred to the Senate assignments committee.
This is not McCarter's first attempt at legislation that stands against marriage equality. He introduced a bill in Jan. 2014 that would have repealed Illinois' gay marriage law, but withdrew the legislation the following month, when a federal judge ruled that same-sex marriages could begin in Cook County.
Edwin Yohnka, director of Communications and Public Policy for ACLU Illinois, called the July measure misguided and out-of-touch with most Illinoisans.
"It's a really bad idea to introduce this, in a moment when the Supreme Court has approved gay marriage, but we still have to be vigilant about these [kinds of bills]," Yohnka said.
The bill plays into a concept recently propagated by the religious right, that service providers and other individuals can be held financially liable should they refuse to perform services for a same-sex wedding.
In Illinois, Yohnka said, "We have a wide broad level of support [for gay marriage] and communities that reject this level of discussion."