Missouri braces to affirm marriage, foil increasing homosexual influence
By Allen Palmeri
June 22, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Joe Ulveling, family ministries specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), sees the Aug. 3 vote to amend the Missouri state constitution to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman as one that will directly impact his responsibilities.
Will Missourians affirm marriage as between one man and one woman or will they vote for “marriage” between homosexuals?
“It’s a matter of life and death for our families,” Ulveling said, referring to the state marriage amendment vote, and the forthcoming debate and July 15 vote in the U.S. Senate over the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA).
State lawmakers approved the Missouri measure as a means of protecting the state from having to recognize homosexuals who “marry.” However, legal experts say it is only a matter of time before homosexual couples sue in federal court, asking that any state constitution banning homosexual marriage be ruled unconstitutional under the “full faith and credit clause” of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Most legal observers believe such a suit will find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court where many think the court, given its recent pro-homosexual rulings, will approve homosexual “marriage.” This danger has prompted pro-family groups to push for the FMA, which must first be approved by 67 members of the U.S. Senate before it can be put on state ballots. At least 38 states must ratify the amendment for it to become law.
Ulveling encouraged Missouri Baptists to call the local – and national — offices of their two U.S. senators. Although Sens. Kit Bond and Jim Talent both support the FMA, Ulveling said the senators still need to hear from Missouri Baptists urging them to remain steadfast.
“The phone lines need to smoke,” Ulveling said.
The MBC intends to do its part by printing about 550,000 bulletin inserts. The first wave of 275,000 has gone out to Missouri Baptist churches with the goal of getting pastors to speak about the voter registration deadline of July 7 as well as the FMA, Ulveling said. A vote in the U.S. Senate on the FMA could come within the next few weeks.
The second wave of 275,000 inserts will hit around July 4 and focus on the two moral issues on the Aug. 3 ballot—whether to allow casino gambling in the Branson area and the state marriage amendment vote.
“All eyes are on Missouri right now, so we have the opportunity to mobilize the troops,” Ulveling said.
David Clippard, MBC executive director, said homosexuals who want to redefine marriage in Missouri are persistent. For several years now they have been working ruthlessly on silencing their opponents in America, Clippard said. Evangelical Christians are wearing targets on their chests.
“Their agenda is to destroy us,” Clippard said.
With so little time to prepare for the Aug. 3 vote, and so many churches that seemingly do not care, Clippard said these are “desperate days.” The Lord “our Banner” will have to win this battle, he said.
“God, deliver us, please,” Clippard prayed.