Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Attempt to Alter Missouri's Constitution

The Missouri General Assembly gave final approval to Senate Joint Resolution 29 on May 14th in the closing minutes of the 2004 legislative session.

The Text of Senate Joint Resolution 29

Section A. Article 1, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 33, to read as follows: Section 33. That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.

The ammendment will be before voters on August 3rd.

How the Amendment Will Affect the Lives of Missourians

Same-sex couples are already prohibited from marrying in Missouri under legislation passed in 2001. A similar, federal law passed in 1996 prohibits recognition of same-sex marriages by the federal government.

It’s thought that these laws are likely to be overturned in some states, but not in Missouri, given the make-up of our state’s judicial branch.

However, same-sex couples in other parts of the country have successfully petitioned for partnership benefits such as hospital visitation and inheritance rights by appealing to their states’ constitutions. When state constitutions are amended to prohibit recognition of same-sex couples, the legal strategy behind such moves becomes much less effective.

More importantly, the amendment will provide legal precedent and justification for further discriminatory policies and laws at state and local levels, especially if the final version of the amendment is closer to that passed by the House. This version could be interpreted as prohibiting civil unions or domestic partnerships currently recognized by the governments of Kansas City, University City, and the City of St. Louis.

The Anti-Marriage Amendment Is Just the Latest Step in a Radical Legislative Agenda

Next on the chopping block:

State money for any institution or company in Missouri, public or private, that includes sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policies. (House Bill 885)

After that:

Prohibiting adoption by any Missourian in a relationship with someone to whom they are not legally married. (House Bill 1677)

23 Comments:

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes you feel so powerless hearing what kind of things are being passed into law. I think that law makers need to spend some time working on other things that effect peoples' lifes more (what happened to education, highway improvements and the war on drugs). We have too many damn people with their heads into everyone's houses. Get a life and worry about the stuff that really matter. Does it really matter if a child without a home lives with someone that loves them that may sleep with someone you think is immoral? What if you were in that situation? And what if you were denied seeing your loved one at the hospital just because you didn't have a signed piece of paper that says you can be there? My aunt is gay and I am not saying that is right (I personally think its weird), but I think that people should at least respect her rights as a human. What people do in their own home is their business. I also found it interesting about that last resolution that it said they couldn't be having sexual relationships with someone they were not married to. What about a single woman who wants adopt a child and is having sex with her boyfriend? Would you consider that to be bad for the child to? Just some thoughts....

~Sarah

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your thoughts. It's a shame that more people can't see things as clearly.

"The test of courage comes when we are in the minority; the test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority." --Ralph W. Sockman

Usually, I try not to let politics get in the way of my personal life, but voting yes on this amendment could cost you my friendship. This resolution is nothing more than hate-mongering, fear-mongering, and outright bigotry.

I can't tell anyone what to believe; we've all got to come to our own conclusions about things, but let me be clear....

To support this garbage indicates to me that one must be:

a.) gutless, as the fear of being stigmatized by the playground epithet "gay" or "fag" prevents one from standing up for what is right

b.) heartless, as only being completely devoid of compassion and understanding for one's neighbors would compel a person to want to codify discrimination against them, or

c.) brainless, as one would have to be STUPID to vote yes on this issue without researching it first (ignorance is not a legitimate defense)

I could go on - and I will - but for now, I'll leave it at this...

My conscience prompted me to relate my feelings on this issue today - it wasn't until after I had done so that I learned how completely inane a certain individual I know is.

Hate begets hate.

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger BSizzler said...

Off topic...good luck winning the war on drugs.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Back on topic....

"Love is friendship set on fire." --Jeremy Taylor (17th C. Clergyman)

But not for everyone, right?

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry if my comment annoys anyone. I didn't think I felt anything passionate about the issue until I started typing it. :)
~Sarah

P.S. I dunno how to fight the war on drugs....I am not a police officer or a lawyer or anything really (expect student, which again means nothing), but I do understand its a problem (my uncle commited suicide because of them). I just fiqured someone, like the lawmakers, should be working on it because its brought a lot of heart ache to my family and I sure others.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just noticed a view mistakes in the above comment....Sorry.
~Sarah

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Luke said...

One should never apologize for expressing what is in the heart, Sarah. It's important to listen to others, of course, and to take their viewpoints under consideration... but ultimately, you've gotta listen to your own moral compass. Rest assured, I believe yours is pointed in the correct direction.

 
At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I am honestly not sure how I would vote on this issue, or even if I would vote at all on it, as my opinion on this is not as sure or strong as many others who have written here.
But I do think that it is completely "inane" to go out & curse and swear at anyone who disagrees with your position. I'm not going to try to justify anybody's voting choice, because I have no idea why many people vote how they do on many topics. But we should at least respect that choice, and not call them all sorts of names just for making their choice heard. I thought that was one of the big things "Open Source" has stood for -- allowing your voice to be heard, allowing the democratic process in the US to be as free & fair as possible, etc.
In that light, I hardly think it morally sound to curse the heck out of anyone who disagrees with you. That is one thing I DO have a strong opinion on.
-Keith

 
At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, a "view mistakes"?? HAHAHAHA. Good ol' BS.

 
At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One should never apologize for expressing what is in the heart, Sarah. It's important to listen to others, of course, and to take their viewpoints under consideration... but ultimately, you've gotta listen to your own moral compass.
..........Unless your own moral compass is pointing you in a different direction than those criticizing????
Once again, without any strong opinion on this issue, I am trying to be an objective 3rd-party here.
Just curious how these posts can honestly be written by the same fingers and mind as earlier posts bashing "what is in the heart" of others......

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

:( sorry for more mistakes...yikes.....Also, the above views (by Lucas) are not expressed by me. Yes, No I love them all....evreyone has their own opinion. That's why I am proud to be an American!

~Sarah

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

:( sorry for more mistakes...yikes.....Also, the above views (by Lucas) are not expressed by me. Yes, No I love them all....evreyone has their own opinion. That's why I am proud to be an American!

~Sarah

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

:( sorry for more mistakes...yikes.....Also, the above views (by Lucas) are not expressed by me. Yes, No I love them all....evreyone has their own opinion. That's why I am proud to be an American!

~Sarah

 
At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith - thank you for expressing your thoughts. Since last night, I have been struggling with the exact same feelings as you have just expressed and was formulating how to relate them to this site. Considering it has been said that every one should feel free to state their opinion or believe what is in their heart, I feel as if it is being communicated that the only right way to think or vote on this issue is one way, not the other. This country is based upon our individual freedom to think and do what we feel is right. I would never judge anyone on they way they think, or believe, or vote. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I intend to try my best to love everyone, no matter what their thoughts may be. I may totally not agree with what another person thinks, but that doesn't mean that I cannot still appreciate them as people with unique views on life. If people say that we should never be sorry for expressing what is in our hearts about what we feel, then we should not be judged for that opinion, even if it is the complete opposite of what another thinks.

~Lauren

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Luke said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Luke said...

I hardly think it morally sound to curse the heck out of anyone who disagrees with you.

Please point me to where I "cursed the heck out of anyone." I'm fairly certain I did no such thing, although I made a point of relating my strong feelings on this issue.

Once again, without any strong opinion on this issue, I am trying to be an objective 3rd-party here. Just curious how these posts can honestly be written by the same fingers and mind as earlier posts bashing "what is in the heart" of others......

Ha ha ha.... look, just because you don't care about this issue--or see its importance--does NOT make you an impartial observer. You have every right to criticize my opinion, and I have no problem with listening to dissenting viewpoints, but that doesn't mean I'm not entitled to disagree. I don't think one should apologize for expressing themselves truthfully, but that doesn't mean they're immune from criticism for being wrong. If someone's a racist, I'm gonna call 'em on it. If someone's a bigot, the same applies.

the above views (by Lucas) are not expressed by me. Yes, No I love them all....evreyone has their own opinion. That's why I am proud to be an American!

By no means do I mean to speak for anyone but myself. I'm proud of what America is supposed to stand for: liberty, justice, and equality for all.

I feel as if it is being communicated that the only right way to think or vote on this issue is one way, not the other.

Yes, that's exactly what I'm communicating.

I would never judge anyone on they way they think, or believe, or vote. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I intend to try my best to love everyone, no matter what their thoughts may be. I may totally not agree with what another person thinks, but that doesn't mean that I cannot still appreciate them as people with unique views on life.

Okay, Keith.... here you may cite me for cursing, because I've gotta call bullshit on this statement. Actions speak louder than words.

If people say that we should never be sorry for expressing what is in our hearts about what we feel, then we should not be judged for that opinion, even if it is the complete opposite of what another thinks.

If hate fills one's heart, I have no problem with the person being honest about that fact, but as you said, "this country is based upon our individual freedom to think and do what we feel is right." In my case, I feel compelled to argue with a narrow-minded and exclusionary opinion. Want to convince me I'm wrong? Don't bemoan the fact that I'm attacking "what's in your heart" -- let's hear your reasoning for why you feel the way you do.

 
At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made those last three comments, Lucas. Not Keith.

"I don't think one should apologize for expressing themselves truthfully, but that doesn't mean they're immune from criticism for being wrong." Lucas, how can an opinion possibly be wrong????? Its the way you feel about something, and I think the point you were trying to make is there's nothing wrong with that. But somehow, you can't seem to accept that some people may have opinions differing from you, and above that, there's nothing wrong with that....we are all entitled to believe what we want and this country gives us the freedom to do that.

"I feel as if it is being communicated that the only right way to think or vote on this issue is one way, not the other." ....

"Yes, that's exactly what I'm communicating."

Lucas, who gives you the right to tell everyone what they should and shouldn't think, and who is or isn't right???

Just because someone may not vote for this amendment, does not mean that they are not accepting of homosexuals for what they are. I have a lot of really close homosexual friends. If I would vote “Yes” against this amendment, it would be not be because I am judging them. Or that I don't even think they should be given civil rights. All I would merely be saying is that the title of "marriage" should be only given to a man and a woman. That is all. That may not be how you see it, but my differing view is my own view, and you should respect me for that.

I just don't appreciate being judged and condemned for thinking and voting one way. Its the basis of this country Lucas: FREEDOM. And you are free to completely think I'm wrong. However, you should be able to disagree with a person, but yet accept them for who they are, and move on.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, the above is my comment. Sorry I forgot to add my name.

~Lauren

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One who looks for a friend without faults will have none. -- Hasidic Saying

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Luke said...

I made those last three comments, Lucas. Not Keith.

I know.

Lucas, how can an opinion possibly be wrong????? Its the way you feel about something, and I think the point you were trying to make is there's nothing wrong with that. But somehow, you can't seem to accept that some people may have opinions differing from you, and above that, there's nothing wrong with that....we are all entitled to believe what we want and this country gives us the freedom to do that.

An opinion is only that - an opinion. The validity of any argument may be questioned though, so just because your "opinion" may be that the world is flat, doesn't mean I can't question your reasoning. That's all I'm doing here...

Lucas, who gives you the right to tell everyone what they should and shouldn't think, and who is or isn't right???

I can only tell you what I believe. It's up to you to come to your own conclusions about things. My opinion is nothing more than that, but I like to think it's based on fairly sound reasoning. Disagree? Fine, but don't expect me to give you a free pass unless you're willing to defend your point of view and can credibly attack mine.

Just because someone may not vote for this amendment, does not mean that they are not accepting of homosexuals for what they are. I have a lot of really close homosexual friends. If I would vote “Yes” against this amendment, it would be not be because I am judging them. Or that I don't even think they should be given civil rights. All I would merely be saying is that the title of "marriage" should be only given to a man and a woman. That is all.

I disagree with your characterization, based on my understanding of what the effects of this amendment passing would be. You claim you're not judging, but you most certainly are. Then you go on to say "they should be given civil rights," but passing this amendment flies in the face of that. It will STRIP constitutional safeguards, eliminating legal protections for gays and lesbians. My opinion is that one should only amend the Constitution to expand freedoms, not deny them.

I just don't appreciate being judged and condemned for thinking and voting one way. Its the basis of this country Lucas: FREEDOM.

Lauren, let me put it this way: if you had said, "I don't think blacks and whites should be allowed to marry each other," do you think I have a right to judge you? Or perhaps had you said, "I think we should be sending the Jews off to concentration camps, for their own good," should I be able to condemn that sentiment? You're darn right I should. There's no difference here, as far as I'm concerned. And I'm still trying to figure out how on the one hand, you've told me that we're all entitled to our own opinions, yet at the same time I'm not supposed to be allowed to have an opinion about you... Hmmmm.

If FREEDOM is the basis of this country, why do you want to restrict the FREEDOMS of others?

you should be able to disagree with a person, but yet accept them for who they are, and move on.

Too bad you can't accept homosexuals for who they are. If you could, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Luke said...

3 Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

 
At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have opened my eyes more deeply to this issue, Lucas, and I thank you for that. Though we may not agree, I have thought more in depth about this than I would have imagined. And I appreciate that greatly. Thanks for forcing me to evaluate my own beliefs to a much broader extent.

~Lauren

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Thank you for listening. :-)

 

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