House draws party lines over gay unions

Karena Wells

Jefferson City, Mo. – On March 31 the House of Representatives debated House Bill 39, which could possibly prevent same-sex couples from joining in marriage or civil unions.

The bill as well as the issue of gay marriage has caused representatives to draw party lines. Proponents of the bill cite that it is necessary to preserve the sanctity of marriage.

They attribute a homosexual life style with immorality.

Opponents of the bill believe it is a violation of the Constitution of the United States.

“Usually bills are created that would expand the rights of citizens,” said Rep. Rick Johnson (D-High Ridge). “This bill takes rights away. Not since prohibition has this happened and you know what happened there.”

Rep. Vicky Wilson (D-Columbia) said that it was not too long ago that women were not allowed to vote.

“People thought the country would go to hell in a hand basket if women were given the right to vote,” Wilson said.

She went on to say that she did not see how the bill could help or hurt marriage. In the early part of Missouri’s history women did not marry out of love but because of wealth and land. Women had no say.

According to Wilson last year 40,000 Missourians were married and 22,000 were divorced.

“What happens if a person has a sex change?” “Do we go back and say, No you used to be a boy?” said Rep. Melba Curls (D-Kansas City).

“We all have to surrender a portion of our rights for the greater good,” said Rep. Bryan Stevenson (R-Webb City).

He said the state discriminates against drunk drivers and murderers. Stevenson believed outlawing same-sex marriage would better the structure of society.