JEFFERSON CITY – Debate on Senate Joint Resolution 39 (SJR 39), otherwise called the Missouri Religious Freedom Amendment, began suddenly at 4:00 p.m., March 7, in the Missouri Senate. The timing of the debate caught opponents by surprise and unprepared. Speed has been an important component of Amendment supporters’ strategy. One observer commented, “I’ve never seen a bill move this fast.” The Democrats are expected to filibuster, and it is unknown what strategy might be employed by the Republicans who are in an overwhelming majority position. The debate could last for several days.
• In other recent developments, Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Director John Yeats recorded two public service announcements calling on people of faith to call their Senators and express support for SJR 39.
• Missouri Baptist Convention leaders who were in attendance for the start of debate on SJR 39 included MBC Executive Director John Yeats, Pathway Editor and MBC Public Policy Advisor Don Hinkle, and Christian Life Commission Chairman David Krueger, pastor of First Baptist Church, Linn.
• Homosexual activists in Missouri are starting to intensify their lobbying efforts and will soon bombard Missouri with misleading advertising about the amendment. The state’s homosexual lobby, PROMO, and the ACLU have already sent a letter asking businesses to join them in preventing the passage of SJR-39.
• The Pathway received reports from SJR-39 supporters that homosexual activists were calling pastors and members of congregations, urging them to oppose SJR-39. Yeats emailed a warning to Missouri Baptist pastors, encouraging them to be gracious, but to stand firm in their support of the bill if called.