A state representative has filed a proposal that would revisit the 2004 decision by Missouri voters to define marriage in the state Constitution as being between a man and a woman.
Representative Mike Colona (D-St. Louis) has filed HJR 85, a proposed constitutional amendment that would ask voters to add language saying that a marriage may exist between a man and a woman and a same-sex couple.
71 percent of Missouri voters approved Constitutional Amendment 2 in 2004 that said to be valid and recognized in Missouri, “a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.”
Colona says he thinks the time is right to put the issue back before Missourians.
“That’s a different question than do I think it will happen,” Colona tells Missourinet.
Colona, who is openly gay, says he doesn’t think the proposal could clear the legislature and reach a ballot this year.
“But if we don’t start some time,” says Colona, it’s never going to happen, and I think now is the time with two cases pending in our court system dealing with marriage equality for the General Assembly to return and address this issue again.”
He says before courts rule on the language currently in the Constitution he wants to use his position as a state representative to call attention to the issue.
He notes other recent events that have kept it in the public mind, such as Governor Jay Nixon (D)’s in his State of the State Address calling for passage of the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act and statements that the General Assembly should give voters the chance to reconsider same-sex marriage.
“My thoughts are,” says Colona, “ten years after the passage of that marriage ban, we very well could have a much different outcome.”