Skip to comments.Gay marriage ban is one step closer in Missouri
Posted on 04/23/2004 6:29:59 AM PDT by rface
JEFFERSON CITY The Missouri House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage after a bitter debate in which bill supporters were accused of bigotry.
The proposal, approved 124-19, would ask voters to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. State law already defines marriage that way, but supporters want to put the ban in the constitution to strengthen the argument that Missouri would not have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
Supporters of the ban argued that gay marriage is deviant, debases American culture and violates natural law. They said issuing marriage licenses to gay couples would be morally wrong and would call into question other licenses the state issues, including licenses to practice medicine.
It is an oxymoron to talk about same-sex marriages, said Ed Emery, a Lamar Republican. But we no longer live in a society where an absurdity is recognized as an absurdity.
Emery, who last year held a ceremony to consecrate his Capitol office, said God determines what is right and wrong. Same-sex marriage, he said, is wrong.
Opponents said the ban would endorse bigotry and deny basic rights to a whole segment of society. Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, a Columbia Democrat, said the legislature devalues marriage when it refuses to allow couples in committed relationships to marry and assume the emotional, financial and civic responsibilities that go with marriage.
Rep. Mike Sager, a Raytown Democrat, said supporters of the ban are hiding their bigotry against gays under the guise of preserving marriage.
I heard Republican representatives call me a fag-lover, Sager said. I'm not offended by being called a fag-lover. I'll wear it like a badge of honor. People who vote for this bill ought to be ashamed.
Rep. Curt Dougherty, an Independence Democrat, said he opposed the ban because a law already on the books defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The legislature should not be clogging the constitution with issues that can be handled in statutes.
We shouldn't meddle in the constitution because someone perceives that our law isn't good enough, Dougherty said. Some things really should be left in the closet.
Rep. Barbara Fraser, a St. Louis County Democrat, said arguments about the need to preserve traditional marriage aren't valid because the definition of marriage has evolved over time. In the past, marriage has been limited to people of the same faith or the same race, and women were considered property of their husbands, she said.
Today, we recognize that marriage is up to the people involved, Fraser said. This is about equal rights, not religion. This is an I hate gay people' amendment.
But those views were in a decided minority.
Rep. Tom Self, a Cole Camp Republican, said future generations will be harmed if current lawmakers tolerate things like gay marriage that they know are wrong.
This is an opportunity to draw a line in the sand, Self said. Some things in life are worth protecting.
Rep. Cynthia Davis, an O'Fallon Republican, said the ban on gay marriage doesn't discriminate against gays because it would not prohibit homosexual acts, as previous laws did. She said issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would cast doubt on other licenses the state issued.
A license is a statement of acceptance, Davis said. How much confidence would people have going to a doctor and wondering if they are a real doctor or they just played one on TV.
Davis said George Washington did not allow gay soldiers in his army. Nature designed children to be raised by a mother and a father, and Missouri judges need to know that, she said.
We can't go wrong by going with public opinion and giving guidance to some very confused judges in this state, Davis said.
Rep. Kevin Engler, a Farmington Republican who sponsored the ban, said he didn't hate homosexuals. And he urged colleagues who supported the ban out of bigotry to abstain from voting. But he said lawmakers need to make clear that gay marriage won't be recognized in Missouri.
The measure now goes to the Senate, which has approved its own version of a ban on gay marriage.
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the problem with this is that there are Courts, like those in Massachusetts, that look at statutes on the books and then declare these statutes "Unconstitutional". Statutes on the books mean nothing to courts that have an agenda contrary to to written law.
I think I see a potential tagline in there.
Yeah, the turd burglars are gonna pitch a hissy fit over this. If this get written into state constitutions, they won't be able to have their judicial fifth column establish "homosexual marriage" by fiat.
Let the backlash begin!
Bad Bobby Holden, floundering and desperate to try to salvage what little remains of his political career, will no doubt veto this.
I am torn - I'd like One-Term-Bob to veto this because it would hurt him, but I'd like to se this issue addressed as soon as possible. I think Holden is in big enough trouble and I think he will probably NOT VETO this measure......but we'll see.
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