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Missouri Family E-News

February 18, 2014

                                   
State House Approves Medical Conscience Proposal    

 

The Missouri House of Representatives has adopted legislation which would protect the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

 

Legislators approved House Bill 1430, sponsored by House Speaker Tim Jones of Eureka by a vote of 112-38.  The decisive bipartisan margin of passage constitutes a veto-proof majority.   

 

The Speaker's bill would ban discrimination against licensed health care professionals who decline to participate in medical  procedures which violate their conscience.

 

"Employers shouldn't be able to force employees to do things they have a moral objection to," Jones said during debate on the House floor.   

 

"This isn't about limiting access to medical practices; it's about limiting an employer's ability to coerce an employee into doing something that violates their conscience."

 

Medical procedures covered by the legislation include abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, abortifacients, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and fetal tissue research. 

 

Adverse employment practices which would be prohibited under the law would include termination, suspension, demotion, reduction of wages or benefits, or other retaliatory actions. 

 

Speaker Jones' bill would also provide legal immunity for religious-based health care institutions who decline to perform procedures or provide drugs or devices which violate their religious doctrines.

 

This is the third year in a row that the Missouri House has given the health care conscience bill its overwhelming approval.  Now the bill moves to the Missouri Senate, where it has died the last two years without even being debated.

 

We encourage you to contact your state senator to urge their support of the health care conscience bill.  You can do so by using this link:

Missouri Senate 

 

Below is the vote cast by each of the House members on House Bill 1430.  You can let your legislator know how you feel about their vote by using this link:

Missouri House 

 

State representatives voting FOR House Bill 1430:

 

Representatives Allen, Anders, Anderson, Austin, Bahr, Barnes, Bernskoetter, Berry, Black, Brattin, Brown, Burlison, Cierpiot, Conway (Pat), Conway (Kathie), Cookson, Cornejo, Cox, Crawford, Cross, Curtman, Davis, Diehl, Dohrman, Dugger, Elmer, Engler, Entlicher, Fitzpatrick, Fitzwater, Flanigan, Fraker, Franklin, Frederick, Gannon, Gatschenberger, Gosen, Grisamore, Guernsey, Haahr, Haefner, Hampton, Hansen, Harris, Higdon, Hinson, Hoskins, Hough, Houghton, Hurst, Johnson, Jones (Caleb), Jones (Tim), Justus, Keeney, Kelley (Mike), Koenig, Kolkmeyer, Korman, Lair, Lant, Lauer, Leara, Lichtenegger, Love, Lynch, Marshall, Mayfield, McCaherty, McGaugh, McKenna, Messenger, Miller, Moon, Morris, Muntzel, Neely, Neth, Parkinson, Pfautsch, Phillips, Pike, Pogue, Redmon, Rehder, Reiboldt, Remole, Rhoads, Richardson, Riddle, Roorda, Ross, Rowden, Rowland, Scharnhorst, Schatz, Schieber, Schieffer, Shull, Shumake, Solon, Sommer, Spencer, Stream, Swan, Thomson, Torpey, Walker, White, Wieland, Wilson, and Wood

 

State Representatives voting AGAINST HB 1430:

 

Butler, Carpenter, Colona, Curtis, Dunn, Ellinger, Ellington, Englund, Frame, Gardner, Hubbard, Hummel, Kirkton, LaFaver, May, McCann Beatty, McDonald, McNeil, Meredith, Mims, Mitten, Molendorp, Montecillo, Morgan, Newman, Nichols, Norr, Otto, Pace, Peters, Pierson, Rizzo, Runions, Schupp, Swearingen, Walton Gray, Webber, and Wright

 

State Representatives who were absent with leave:

 

Burns, English, Funderburk, Hicks, Hodges, Kelly (Chris), Kratky, McManus, Smith, and Zerr 

                                            

  

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Missouri Marriage Amendment Under Attack from ACLU   


Missouri has become the latest target of homosexual rights advocates seeking to dismantle state laws preserving the institution of marriage.  The Missouri chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court in Kansas City which is designed to nullify Missouri's Marriage Amendment and Defense of Marriage Act.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight same-sex "couples" who currently reside in Missouri who claim that they have been legally "married" in other states and countries.  The legal action seeks a declaratory judgement that Missouri laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman violate the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The ACLU suit also petitions the circuit court to issue a permanent injunction ordering the state to legally recognize the same-sex unions of the plaintiffs and of any other same-sex couples who enter into legal "marriages" outside of Missouri.

ACLU spokesmen contend they are not seeking a court order mandating so-called same-sex "marriage" within the state of Missouri.  However, this is an intellectually dishonest assertion.  Should a state or federal court require that the state of Missouri recognize same-sex unions ratified by other states or countries, Missouri's Marriage Amendment would become meaningless. Same-sex "couples" would simply travel to other states to get "married," and return home demanding that their unions be acknowledged as legitimate.

The Missouri Marriage Amendment was approved by Missouri voters in August of 2004.  Found in Section 33 of the Article I of Missouri's Constitution, it declares "that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman."  The constitutional amendment was approved by a resounding margin of 71 to 29 percent.

Missouri's Defense of Marriage Act is a law that was enacted by the Missouri Legislature in 1996.  It affirmed the historic definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  It further established that "a marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purpose in this state even when valid where contracted."

The State of Missouri has the authority under federal law to refuse recognition of out-of-state "marriages" that do not conform to Missouri law.  The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted by Congress in 1996, provides that "no state...shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state...respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state."

While the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down a section of DOMA in the United States v. Windsor case, the central provision of DOMA referenced above remains the law of the land.

In that same case, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the longstanding authority of the individual states to establish laws governing the institution of marriage and family life.  Citing prior precedents, the High Court stated that "regulation of domestic relations is an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the states."

"By history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage...has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the states," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote on behalf of the court majority.  "The federal government, through our history, has deferred to state-level policy decisions with respect to domestic relations."

"The states, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, possessed full power over the subject of marriage and divorce...and the Constitution delegated no authority to the Government of the United States on the subject of marriage and divorce," Kennedy said as he quoted from a long line of cases.  "The definition of marriage is the foundation of the states' broader authority to regulate the subject of domestic relations with respect to the protection of offspring, property interests, and the enforcement of marital responsibilities."

The ACLU lawsuit in Missouri reads like a homosexual rights epistle, as opposed to a legal document.  It argues that the purpose of Missouri's marriage laws is "to disparage and injure same-sex couples and their families."  This is a nonsensical claim.  The marriage laws of all 50 states were enacted based on the only understanding of marriage that existed throughout history, i.e. the union of husband and wife. 

Lawmakers who enacted such laws had no legislative purpose to harm homosexuals because the subject of homosexuality was not even part of the conversation.  State officials who adopted statutes governing marriage and the family would have never dreamed that homosexuals could get "married," since it contradicts the very meaning and definition of the term.

The Missouri lawsuit comes on the heels of recent decisions by federal judges in Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia ruling that one-man, one-woman marriage laws violate the federal equal protection and due process clauses.  However, in this case, the ACLU has decided to argue federal claims in state court. 

That means that the ultimate decision in this case will be rendered by the Missouri Supreme Court.  In their hands will lie the future of marriage and family life in Missouri.  Please be praying that each of them will uphold traditional marriage as the cornerstone of our culture and way of life in Missouri, and as the key building block of healthy families focused on the welfare of children. 

The primary function of a judge is to uphold the Constitution as the Supreme Law.  Missouri's Constitution is unequivocal in its defense of the institution of marriage.  It reflects the supreme value Missourians place on the belief that every child benefits from the blessings of a mother and father.  No judge has the right or authority to substitute their judgement in place of laudable constitutional principles that have been established by the people in such unambiguous fashion.

We will keep you posted on developments surrounding this most serious threat to the moral climate of our state and its communities, to God 's sacred design of the family, and to the health and well-being of future generations of children.


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