The Missouri Catholic Conference testified this week in support of SJR 39, which is sponsored by Senator Bob Onder(R-Chesterfield). This proposed constitutional amendment would protect the right of Churches to practice their faith according to their beliefs. The proposal would also ensure that businesses, such as photography companies, are not forced to directly participate in a same-sex wedding.
Under SJR 39, the state may not penalize members of the clergy who decline to perform, solemnize or facilitate a marriage ceremony because of their religious beliefs concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex. The proposal also ensures that Churches are not penalized when they decline to make their facilities available for a marriage ceremony that does not accord with their religious beliefs about marriage between two persons of the same sex.
The MCC testimony observed: “In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell, which legalized same-sex marriage, it is only natural and completely reasonable that the people of Missouri would wish to reaffirm the right of churches to follow their beliefs in deciding whom they will marry.” See MCC Testimony for more.
SJR 39 is moving quickly and is now on the Senate Calendar for debate. Stay tuned for further developments.