Missouri voters passed in 2004 an amendment to the state’s Constitution (known as Amendment 2) declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman. It was the first state do to so and did so by a 71-29 percent margin. Issue settled – or so we thought.
In what has to be one of the most disheartening actions in the history of Missouri politics to thwart the will of the people, Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon directed state tax officials on Nov. 14 to accept tax returns jointly filed by same-sex “couples” who have “married” in other states but now live in Missouri. Nixon, a likable person and one whom I’ve had the privilege to pray for during his term, has made a terrible political decision. And make no mistake, it is political.
“This is not about the definition of marriage,” Nixon said. “This is about the structure of our tax code.” But then he went further, saying he hopes Missouri voters will revisit the marriage issue. “I just don’t think we should treat folks differently in this zone anymore,” he said. “I think if folks want to get married, they should be able to get married.”
Now we are getting to the heart of the matter, but a little history is in order. Nixon is someone Democrats are beginning to examine for national office; a two-term governor from a politically conservative-leaning state. But if Nixon has any national political aspirations, he’s got to tow the party line – even if it means throwing Missouri voters under the bus. Homosexual “marriage” is in the Democrat National Platform. It was passed at their 2012 national convention at about the same time they debated on whether to throw God out of their convention hall.
Let’s fast forward to June 26 and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The court held that the definition of marriage in Section 3 as a union between one man and one woman violated the principles of equal protection incorporated in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The court did not provide same-sex “couples” the right to marry in states like Missouri that do not permit such marriages, and it did not address Section 2 of DOMA, which allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages in other states.
The Obama administration, which favors homosexual “marriage,” ordered the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department to implement the court’s decision, giving same-sex “spouses” all of the federal benefits offered to opposite-sex couples. The IRS issued the new guidelines a few weeks ago, setting the stage for Nixon to act.
But wait. It appears the Supreme Court ruling did not address federal benefits for same-sex “couples” in states that do not recognize same-sex “marriages,” only those states that do. Once again we are reminded that elections have consequences. Changing the tax code was done on a whim by the Obama administration. Had a different president, supportive of traditional marriage been in office, such an order would have never been issued. The Supreme Court was silent on this part of its DOMA ruling. This is why Nixon and Democrat Attorney General Chris Koster should file suit and defend Missouri’s Constitution. They both took oaths to do so.
Nixon’s act also fuels the anti-traditional marriage movement in the state. Homosexual activists want to overturn Missouri’s marriage amendment. They think the winds of change are at their back. They cite liberal states recently passing laws authorizing homosexual “marriage” and national polls showing a greater number of Americans supporting homosexual “marriage.” All this is phooey. National polls on this issue can be misleading, with samplings skewed toward liberal states. Poll state by state and you get a different picture. This issue is being decided state by state – until the U.S. Supreme Court likely crams it down our throats.
It is unclear the impact Nixon’s action will have on Christian business owners, who may be forced to violate their consciences when an employee suddenly declares their homosexual behavior and have just returned from getting “married” in a state like Iowa.
Missouri Baptists love homosexuals and want them to experience the love and freedom that can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but we cannot accept a definition of marriage that contradicts what God has said. President Obama, the Democrat Party, the U.S. Supreme Court and our governor have told us they have the final word. We believe God’s Word means what it says and only He has the final word. Time will tell if our religious liberty – supposedly guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution – is no longer worth the parchment it was written on. Apparently the votes of free Missourians are not worth much anymore either.