Committee defines marriage

The Children and Families House Committee voted to pass House Bill 38, which proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The final decision incorporated four bills into one. Members of the committee voted along party lines. The final decision was to include a constitutional amendment in the next general election that will read, “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman, and no license to marry shall be issued except to a man and a woman. Marriage between persons of the same sex, and full faith and credit of such marital status entered into in another state, shall not be recognized as marriage.”

Local politicians have been active in bills concerning the sanctity of marriage.

Rep. Bryan P. Stevenson (R-Webb City) is vice chairman of the committee that passed House Bill 38. In his press release, he said he wished that it became a partisan issue.

“I am praying when it goes to the floor of the House it will have bi-partisan support,” Stevenson said.

Rep. Marilyn Ruestman also supported the bill. She said defining marriage, as being between a man and a woman, will help strengthen families of Missouri. Ruestman also believes the primary concern in Missouri is the continuing break up of families.

“This amendment is needed to ensure that Missouri does not allow unselected judges to rewrite and reinterpret the state’s laws and constitution in a way that promotes their liberal agenda and attacks our state’s traditional family values,” Ruestman said.

Rep. Kevin Wilson, (R-Neosho) was among the supporters of House Bill 38.

“I will support any bill that defines marriage as being a union between man and woman,” he said.

The Senate has also introduced a bill, co-chaired by Sen. Gary Nodler, (R-Joplin) which would amend the constitution of Missouri to state that only marriages between a man and a woman would be valid in the state.

“I do not believe any law should be passed that misinterprets the definition of marriage. Marriage is a sacred union between man and woman,”said Nodler.

House Bill 38, will face voters in November during the general election.