Members of the Missouri Senate have responded to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on marriage by calling for enhanced conscience protections for churches, clergy, and the religious community.
Senators David Sater, Bob Onder, Ed Emery, and Kurt Schaefer all issued public statements condemning the High Court ruling redefining marriage to include same-sex unions. They all expressed concern that the abusive decree of the Supreme Court would pose a grave risk to the religious freedoms of pastors, churches, and religious ministries.Senator David Sater
of Cassville deplored the action by the Supreme Court justices in striking down the Marriage Amendment approved by 71% of Missouri voters in August of 2004. That amendment preserved in the supreme law of our state the longstanding historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
"The Constitution gives the federal government no authority in defining marriage--that authority belongs exclusively to the states," Senator Sater said. "Now the
Court says the states can't make this decision for themselves and we need a federal government...to define the very nature of an institution that existed long before the Supreme Court was even created."
"This decision had nothing to do with the law or the Constitution," Sater continued. "It had everything to do with judicial activism and reactionary politics. In so doing, the Court has trampled on the First Amendment rights of Americans and Missourians who have deeply-held religious beliefs on this issue."
Sater says the ruling declaring so-called same-sex "marriage" a fundamental right opens up "a legal can of worms." "Will our ministers, pastors, and clergy be forced to perform gay weddings? Will the tax-exempt status of our churches be in jeopardy? Will private religious colleges be forced to change curriculum, admissions, or personal conduct standards? These are serious problems the Missouri General Assembly will have to address." Senator Bob Onder
of Lake St. Louis branded the Supreme Court Obergefell
decision a brazen act of judicial supremacy. "The radical redefinition of marriage is a pure act of judicial will by five unelected Supreme Court justices. These five justices chose the policy preference of the secular elites over our religious rights contained in the Constitution."
"The Court has ignored both our constitutional history and the will of the people," Senator Onder added. "The Court's new 'right' was never contemplated by the drafters of the Constitution or the Fourteenth Amendment. The Missouri Legislature must now do all we can to secure the freedom of religion and conscience rights of our churches, our pastors, and all Missourians."