Same-sex marriage question going to voters in August

Friday, July 23, 2004

The decision over the proposed amendment to the state constitution regarding same-sex marriages will be put to the voting public on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

The amendment would reinforce existing legislation, which makes marriage between two people of the same gender legally unrecognized by the state of Missouri. By amending the state's constitution, advocates hope to strengthen their position against same-sex marriages in a potential court challenge.

Gary Moore of Arrow Rock is one area resident who supports the proposed amendment. "All you have to do is read the Bible," Moore said.

The state needs to protect its marriage laws, Moore said and he thinks amending the Constitution is the right way to accomplish this. "You have all these liberal judges making decisions from the bench," Moore said. "These issues of homosexuality and abortion have gotten completely out of hand."

Taking the other side, Mark Ridings of Marshall said, "I don't think we need to write discrimination into our state constitution. I'd like to think we are a better state than that."

Ridings plans to vote against the amendment. He favorably compares the "activist judges" such as the Massachusetts Supreme Court, ordering that state to recognize same-sex marriages, to those who ruled in the famous school desegretation case Brown vs. [Topeka] Board of Education.

"What I don't understand is how two males or two females getting married affects anyone else's marriage," Ridings said, citing reality television shows such as "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" as more degrading to the sanctity of marriage.

The question of homosexuality is not clearly defined in Christian scripture, said Rev. Jack Price of Crossroads Church of Kansas City, one of a group of clergy who recently took part in a forum sponsored by foes of Amendment 2.

"These same scriptures do clearly advocate committed and loving relationships and warn against discrimination and disenfrachisement," Price said.

State Sen. Jim Mathewson and State Rep. Jim Seigfreid, whose districts include Saline County, voted in favor of the amendment proposal as it progressed through the Missouri General Assembly.

The amendment will be titled Constitutional Amendment No. 2 on the Aug. 3 ballot.

Contact Matt Heger at

marshallfaith@socket.net

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