Missouri Overwhelmingly Passes State Marriage Amendment
by Fred Jackson and Jenni Parker
August 4, 2004
(AgapePress) - The people of Missouri have done what the U.S. Senate refused to do: the legislature gave the people a chance to weigh in, and now voters in the "Show Me State" have passed a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
Although a vote on a Federal Marriage Amendment failed last month in the U.S. Senate when most Democrats and some Republicans refused to support the measure, in the state of Missouri yesterday, the result of the vote was not even close. More than 70 percent of those citizens who cast ballots came down on the side of supporting the biblical definition of marriage. This vote was the first such state referendum since last year's historic court ruling in Massachusetts, when the votes of four liberal judges legalized same-sex marriage there.
Missouri is among 38 states in the nation that already have laws defining marriage solely as the union between a man and a woman. However, fearing that activist courts would overrule these statutes, marriage defenders across the country have pushed for state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage to strengthen their legal ground.
Concerned Women for America is applauding the people of Missouri for their approval of the marriage amendment by more than a two-to-one margin. Bob Knight of CWA's Culture and Family Institute said the vote shows that homosexual activists and their liberal allies did not succeed with "their one-note message that defending marriage is a form of bigotry."
CWA's Missouri state director, Joey Davis, says she was not surprised by the August 3 vote. "We worked very hard to alert our friends and neighbors to the need for an amendment," she remarked. "Radical judges are intent on overthrowing the law, the will of the people, and our basic moral order. We are drawing a line in the sand right here in Missouri."
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is also commending the Missouri legislators for what he calls a "refreshing move." He says the lawmakers "saw a need to protect marriage against un-elected judges" and "gave the people a voice in this important debate."
Perkins adds that, in passing the state's marriage amendment, the Missouri citizens showed once again that the people, when not muted by judicial activists, "speak out soundly in support of marriage as it has always been traditionally defined."
The pro-family leader also notes that opponents of the state amendment were hoping that the timing of the vote -- on the same day as the Democratic primary -- would sway its outcome in their direction. But Perkins says the vote proved that "defending marriage is not an issue that divides people by political party, but instead unites them."
The Missouri victory means five states have now amended their constitutions to protect marriage: Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, and now Missouri all have marriage amendments. And at least 10 other states are set to vote on similar measures this fall.
The residents of Louisiana are scheduled to cast ballots on a marriage amendment September 18, while Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah, are set to vote on the issue November 2. Meanwhile, marriage protection initiatives are pending in Michigan, Ohio, and North Dakota.