Legislative leaders in the Missouri General Assembly have responded aggressively to the latest lawless state of affairs regarding marriage in Missouri. Last Friday, Senate and House leaders hand-delivered a letter to Attorney General Chris Koster calling on him to do his job. The correspondence was signed by Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey
, House Speaker Tim Jones, and incoming House Speaker, Representative John Diehl
In the letter, the legislators demanded that Koster appeal the decision by Judge Youngs to the Missouri Supreme Court, and that he seek a stay of the decision by Judge Burlison. Should Koster continue to refuse to do so, the legislators called for Koster to appoint an outside special assistant attorney general "to zealously defend the existing statutory and constitutional provisions approved by the voters." This happened before when Governor Jay Nixon served as Attorney General. He appointed an attorney outside his office to represent the state in a case involving Planned Parenthood.
Should Koster refuse to appoint outside counsel to defend Missouri's marriage laws, the legislators made clear they would seek to intervene in court in their official capacities to see that Missouri's Marriage Amendment and Defense of Marriage Act are enforced and defended.
With regard to the Burlison ruling, the legislators wrote: "There is concern that a ruling of a single circuit court judge...will be allowed to go into effect before the appeal can be heard by our state's highest court on this very important issue. Allowing this ruling to take effect will cause confusion while awaiting a clear decision by the Supreme Court where marriages could occur and then be set aside. This sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the very
fabric of a system of government where a balance between the three co-equal branches is essential to the protection of the liberties enjoyed by its citizens."
We could not be more pleased with the concrete actions being taken by Senator Dempsey and Representatives Jones and Diehl to see that the will of Missouri citizens is argued and defended in the absence of the Attorney General. We urge you to contact their offices and thank them for standing up for marriage and the family in our state. Their contact information is below.
On the national level, there has been a breakthrough in the federal courts in ongoing marriage litigation. Last week, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a scholarly decision upholding the traditional marriage laws of the state of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. This almost inevitably forces the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of this decision and decide this issue once and for all. Four other appelate courts (the 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th) have issued previous rulings mandating the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions.
It is imperative that the State of Missouri appeal Judge Smith's ruling to the 8th Circuit in the most vigorous and complete fashion, because it is likely that the judges of the 8th Circuit would reaffirm their previous decision from 2006, and follow the lead of the 6th Circuit in upholding traditional marriage. That is why what is happening now is so critical.
Please be praying ever so fervently about these legal maneuvers that will have such a huge impact on the future of marriage and the family in Missouri. And please contact the legislators below to thank them for their courageous moral leadership on this issue.Senator Tom Dempsey
firstname.lastname@example.orgRepresentative Tim Jones
email@example.comRepresentative John Diehl