Marriage Amendment Enacted into Missouri Constitution

Missouri's constitutional amendment banning same-sex 'marriage' is enacted into the state constitution, thirty days after voters overwhelming passed the measure.
( [email protected] ) Sep 06, 2004 08:01 PM EDT

Same-sex marriage is now banned the state of Missouri as a state constitutional amendment defining marriage to be between a man and woman was enacted into the Missouri Constitution on Sept. 1.

N o formal ceremony was required to enact the amendment, which was passed by 71 percent of Missouri voters on Aug. 3, since under the Missouri Constitution, amendments are enacted 30 days after their approval

No state action is needed today to make the amendment official, said Terry Jarrett, a lawyer in the Missouri secretary of state's office Wednesday.

Missouri was the first of a group of 12 potential states with fall ballot initiatives opposing same-sex “marriage” to vote on the issue.

The amendment, which reads, "That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman,” became Section 33 of the state's Bill of Rights, being placed immediately after the section outlining the rights afforded to crime victims.

According to Jerry Cox, of the Family Council of Arkansas, the support for traditional marriage in Arkansas is expected to be “a slam dunk.” Arkansas voters will decide on a similar amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Although the effects of the amendment on the state of Missouri have not been dramatic, with months passing before copies of the revised constitution are expected to be reprinted, according to Jarrett, supporters of the constitutional amendment say it will protect against any future threat to the state’s “Defense of Marriage Act,” which bans same-sex “marriage” and prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex “marriages” performed in other states.

"The amendment was a proactive step to protect our current policy," said Vicky Hartzler of the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri. "It's protection from the possibility of a legal challenge."