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Missouri Family E-News

September 23, 2014

Legislators Mourn Loss
of Colleague    

Members of the Missouri General Assembly are mourning the sudden passing of one of their colleagues, State Representative Randy Pike of Butler, Missouri.

Representative Pike had been recovering from a bout with pneumonia following an auto accident that confined him to a wheelchair.  He is reported to have died while hospitalized when he swallowed a drink into his lungs.  He was 60 years old.

Representative Pike was completing his first term as the state legislator from the 126th District representing Vernon and Bates Counties.  He had recently been renominated by voters in his district to serve a second term.

A strong friend of the pro-life and pro-family movement, Representative Pike voted during the recent veto session to enact the new law extending the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours.

Despite his failing health, Randy remained for every vote during a wearying veto session to fulfill his duties to his constituents.  His seatmate, Representative Steve Lynch, commented on his dedication.

"Representative Pike attended veto session even though he was weak and in pain.  In the wee hours of the morning, I tried to get him to lay down and rest.  His response was:  'This issue is too important to my people at home; I'll hang in there.'  He served to the end and I'm honored to have called him my friend."

Representative Casey Guernsey offered similar comments.  "I always looked up to Randy as a statesman more than a politician but never more so than last week.  His level of commitment to the job was unparalleled as the night wore on.  He insisted on staying late into the night when everyone would have understood had he chosen to stay home."

Representative Sheila Solon also offered words of appreciation for the departed legislator.  "Randy always had a kind word and smile for everyone.  His gentle presence will be missed by all of us.  I so admire the courage and fortitude it must have taken for him to come to veto session with the physical challenges he faced."

Randy Pike had previously served on the Bates County Commission, serving as the Northern District Commissioner for twelve years.

Representative Pike was a master craftsman and taxidermist.  He was awarded the title of World Champion Taxidermist in 1988.  He had judged world and state wood carving and taxidermy competitions for over twenty years.

Randy Pike is survived by his wife, Patricia, and two children.  Memorial services will be held on Thursday at 10 AM at Mullinax Funeral Home in Butler.        


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Attorney General Files Marriage Brief
Before High Court

Attorney General Chris Koster has joined the Attorneys General of 16 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear two cases seeking to defend state marriage laws.  Koster and his peers are requesting that the High Court accept appeals from the states of Colorado and Oklahoma, where a federal appellate court struck down
their constitutional amendments preserving traditional marriage.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that language in the Colorado and Oklahoma Constitutions defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman violates the U.S. Constitution.  The Tenth Circuit decreed that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment requires that marriage be available to individuals of the same gender.

In recent months, three-judge panels of the 4th, 6th, and 7th Circuits have also acted to invent a constitutional right for same-sex "couples" to "marry."  These decisions have defied U.S. Supreme Court precedent on this issue, which has declared that fundamental rights must be rooted in the historical traditions of the nation and its body of law.

Last year the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed in the case of United States v. Windsor that "the regulation of domestic relations is an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States."  In the opinion, the High Court stated:  "By history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage...has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States."

The Supreme Court majority went on to state that "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."

Since the Windsor decision, a string of rulings have been issued by federal district court judges, and now federal appeals courts, ignoring the constitutional principles enunciated in Windsor.  In each of these decisions, renegade judges have invalidated constitutional amendments overwhelmingly adopted by state voters defending the institution of marriage. 

These decisions mandating same-sex "marriage" have twisted and distorted a clear reading of the Windsor decision.  The opinions issued have been almost completely bankrupt of any constitutional analysis or objective jurisprudence.  Instead they have read like philosophical treatises extolling the merits and virtues of the homosexual lifestyle.
The brief filed by Missouri Attorney General Koster and his peers reflects the position of states still seeking to uphold their states' traditional marriage statutes.  The brief states that legal challenges to state marriage laws "have deteriorated into a morass."  It asks the High Court for immediate review of the issue "to provide a unified answer to the legal controversy" and "restore order in this public conflict over the nature of constitutional rights and state marriage laws."

The brief points out that there are 89 cases pending in 31 states that challenge laws defining the institution of marriage.  "These cases are divisive and costly, not only in terms of money and manpower, but in terms of respect for the democratic process and deliberation undertaken by millions of voters where the nature of marriage has recently been debated," the brief states.

The brief cites the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in
Schuette v. BAMN, where the court stated: "It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding [sensitive issues] on decent and rational grounds...and therefore the process of public disclosure and political debate should not be foreclosed."

The brief makes the plea that "the states are deeply burdened by the storm of pending marriage litigation...Far better than allowing this discord to be aired from court-to-court across the country, this Court can swiftly resolve the legal dispute and thereby take control of the conflict."  The Supreme Court may do just that.  Justices are meeting in preparation for the fall term to determine what cases from the appellate courts they will hear in the coming months.

In the meantime, three cases directly challenging Missouri's own Marriage Amendment are working their way through state and federal courts.  The first of those will be heard this Thursday in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Jackson County.  That case involves a lawsuit brought by eight same-sex "couples" who claim they were "married" in other states and countries. 

The lawsuit, brought by the ACLU, demands that those unions be legally recognized by the State of Missouri.  Should Judge J.Dale Youngs rule in favor of the plaintiffs, it would render Missouri's Marriage Amendment of no consequence.  Same-sex individuals would simply travel to adjacent states like Illinois and Iowa for their "wedding" ceremonies and then return to Missouri to have their "marriages" legally validated.

Two other cases involve demands that county recorders of deeds issue "marriage" licenses to same-sex "couples" within the state.  One involves a lawsuit against the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds.  That case has since been moved into federal court.  The other case involves the outlaw behavior of St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay and former Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter in issuing bogus "marriage" licenses to same-sex couples.  That case is before Judge Rex Burlison in St. Louis City Circuit Court.

Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan is arguing in defense of the will of Missouri citizens in each of these cases.  71 percent of Missouri voters acted in August of 2004 to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  We ask that you be praying for Mr. Morgan as he works to preserve the institution of marriage in our state, and for a favorable ruling from the judges in each of these cases.

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