When a controversial proposed ballot issue related to same-sex marriage is considered by the state House, proponents say it must not be changed.
The resolution would ask voters later this year whether Missouri businesses and religious organizations that refuse to participate in same-sex marriages should be protected from penalties or lawsuits. Democrats say that would put into the Constitution protection for those who discriminate against same-sex couples, and they led the longest filibuster in state Senate history to block it.
It was passed to the House, though, and Senate sponsor Bob Onder (R-Lake Saint Louis) says the House must pass it as-is. Changing it would mean it would have to go back through the Senate, where tension is still heightened.
“Of course you know what the fight was like the first time with the 39-hour filibuster so I think amendments have a chance of killing it,” said Onder.
Representative Paul Curtman (R-Pacific) carries the resolution in the House and agrees that passing it unchanged should be the goal.
“The way the situation worked out in the Senate between the filibuster and the [previous question] that came to end the filibuster, I think that the only way that the bill keeps from dying is for the bill to just pass without any amendments,” said Curtman.
Curtman expects there to be no issues with the Republican majority in the House taking it up and passing it as is. He thinks the House will move the resolution in the next few weeks.
He and other proponents say the resolution’s passage would not protect discrimination. Rather, they say it protects the religious freedoms of those who object to same-sex marriage.