Three Republicans sided with Democrats in voting to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment regarding same-sex marriage.
The amendment would have blocked penalties and lawsuits against businesses and religious organizations who deny services in same-sex marriages.
One of the Republicans who voted against it in a House Committee is Anne Zerr (R-St. Charles). She believed its passage could have hurt Missouri economically, but is open to revisiting the question.
“You see what was happening in other states, in Indiana, and cancellations, and I know that the NCAA has kind of threatened if this passed that they would be cancelling, and that’s a huge economic hit to Missouri. Huge – that would be tens of millions of dollars,” said Zerr, who had expressed similar concerns in an earlier hearing on the resolution.
She believed it needed more time and development.
“I just, number one, wanted to get a balance and number two, why would we not just let this rest a little bit, see how other states handle their laws, their bills, whatever, and see how they handle any concerns and problems that might come up and then we can tackle it next year,” said Zerr.
She said the bill also needed to be worded better and expressed concern about adding the language she saw to the state Constitution, where fixing it later would require voters’ action.
Zerr and one of the other three Republicans who voted against SJR 39, Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia), are running for the state Senate. She doesn’t believe her vote will hurt her in that race.
“I believe I did the right thing for my district and the people of Missouri, and I’ll go back to jobs. If we do something and we lose conventions, business, companies, that is certainly reducing jobs,” said Zerr.
Rowden, who issued a statement about his vote, did not agree to an interview with Missourinet.
The other of the three is Jim Hansen (R-Frankford), who in an emotional statement before the vote was taken cited his faith in explaining his position.
“I feel that I’m free in this country to worship the way I want, and I don’t need a law to tell me how to worship,” said Hansen, who added, “I have family that’s in this situation, but I love ’em.”
The vote on the resolution was 6-6, so it failed. With enough support, it could still be brought up for a vote on the House floor.