OSAGE BEACH – Messengers to the Missouri Baptist Convention annual meeting here, Oct. 27-29, defended the biblical view of marriage and challenged Attorney General Chris Koster to fulfill his oath of office by defending Missouri’s constitution.
This resolution comes on the heels of Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs’ Oct. 3 ruling that opened the door for same-sex couples “married” in other states to collect a host of benefits previously afforded only to heterosexual married couples in Missouri. Although the ruling contradicted a state constitutional amendment passed in 2004, Koster announced Oct. 4 that he would not appeal Youngs’ decision. Koster, a Democrat who supports same-sex marriage, is expected to run for governor in 2016.
According to the MBC resolution, “Judge Youngs is attempting to accomplish by judicial fiat what the voters of Missouri have expressly said they do not support.” Moreover, by his inaction, Koster is “abrogating his constitutional role as Attorney General to support and defend the Missouri Constitution.”
In their resolution, approved on Oct. 29, MBC messengers expressed their “disappointment” with Koster’s refusal to defend the state constitution. They also called upon all Missouri Baptists to urge their state legislators to “exert all due influence on the office of the Missouri Attorney General, insisting that he defend our state constitution.”
“We sent a personal letter Oct. 10 to the attorney general expressing what Missouri Southern Baptists have so eloquently stated in this important resolution and have received no response,” said Pathway Editor Don Hinkle, MBC director of public policy. “I maintain close contact with Southern Baptist leaders throughout our state and, if Mr. Koster continues to refuse to defend the Missouri Constitution, we would support a legislative decision to act upon articles of impeachment should the Missouri House of Representatives consider the attorney general’s inaction a willful neglect of duty as stated in Section 1, Article VII of the Missouri Constitution.”
Missourians voted by a 71-29 percent margin on Aug. 3, 2004, to amend the state constitution , defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. According to the MBC resolution, this amendment specifically “included a ban on recognizing such (same-sex) ‘marriages’ performed in other states.” The official tally for the ballot initiative called Amendment 2, which was strongly supported by the MBC, was 1,055,771 in support of the amendment, 439,529 opposing it.
In their resolution, MBC messengers also encouraged “Christians to be informed concerning the political life of our nation, so as to protect religious freedoms guaranteed in our constitution.”
Moreover, the resolution stated that Missouri Baptists desire to speak the truth of God’s Word in love: “RESOLVED, that despite our opposition to same-sex marriage on convictional grounds, Missouri Baptists express Christian love and concern for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, or any other sexual activity outside the bounds of God’s creative design, acknowledging that every person is of eternal value to our Creator, and that all of us are sinful and fallen creatures who desperately need the redemption Jesus has provided through His death, burial and resurrection.”