Mo. state representative trying to redefine “marriage”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As many same-sex couples around the world say "I Do" this weekend, a Missouri lawmaker is pushing for a repeal of the state's ban on gay marriage. The hotly debated topic of same-sex marriage remains in the headlines. Now, a new piece of legislation has people in Missouri closely watching what happens next.

In 2004, more than 70% of voters in Missouri passed an amendment to the state constitution, banning same-sex marriages in the state. The amendment reads, “that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.' Missouri Representative Mike Colona is trying to repeal that ban. FOX 4 spoke with people on both sides of the controversial issue.

Peter Arroyo manages Hamburger Mary's in Kansas City.

“No one chooses to be gay. It’s just how you are. Love is just something I feel you have to take seriously, and whether it's a man or a woman, it's love," he said.

He believes House Joint Resolution 85 is a step in the right direction.

“There are so many gay couples that want to get married, love to just get a family started and just to have that voice in there for all of us, is sort of definitely groundbreaking in a way,” he said.

Lori Burns, a customer at Hamburger Mary’s, feels people need to be more open to change.

“There are people that I work with that are gay that are super nice people, good friends with them. To me, if they are in a relationship and want to commit to that, they should have a right to do that,” Burns said.

Larry Chambers was eating with Burns and he believes the ban stems from prejudice. The same prejudice, he says, black people faced in the 1960s.

“They contribute to society as much as heterosexual people, if not more. Again, I don`t see what the big deal is, why they have to ban it,” Chambers said.

Former State Representative Gary Dusenberg says the ban is in place because the majority of people in Missouri believe, “Marriage is between a man and a woman. That`s the way things are and that`s way they should be.”

Dusenberg served as a state representative between 2002 and 2012. He says he`s not against liberty.

“If you're talking about liberty, I'm a liberty guy. I think this is what this country was founded upon. Some things just don`t fit that, fit in that category. This is one of them,” he said.

When asked his opinion about the term "civil union," his response was:

“I see some credence in that to some degree, when it comes to some of the laws as far as property rights, maybe but I’m not really sold on that neither. But I do see a little bit of credence in that as far as a union between two people. But again, marriage is between a man and a woman.”

State representative Sheila Solon says this isn't an issue over sexual preferences.

“We all have family members, loved ones, that are gay. They are people that we love and we support so we certainly, I believe, as Republicans, believe that no one should ever be discriminated against because of whatever: their gender, their race, or their sexual preference,” she said.

Click here to read more about Constitutional Amendment 2, and click here, for more information about Rep. Mike Colona’s push for repeal the current ban.

There are seven weeks left in this legislative session.

Click here to visit Megan Dillard's Facebook page

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  • Alexander Thorne

    What happened to the seperation of church and state that teh USA’s founding fathers wanted? Just because some self-proclaimed Christians think that god is homophobic, the GOVERNMENT bans same sex marriage? What about OTHER religions, then? Shall the government ban eating meat, becuase Hinduism says that’s a sin? Or ban alcohol because Islam says that’s a sin? How can it be claimed that the ban on same sex marriage is NOT about banning homosexuality or lesbianism? Two people who love each other should be a cause of celebration! They should have the same rights to co-own property, share debt and profit and everything else a marriage license grants, because they are PEOPLE. INstead, they are being penalized on many levels because they are being honest with themselves and each other. Shame our government, local, state, or federal, can’t do the same!

    • RB

      @Alexander Thorne: Being honest with ourselves is the first problem. We should always be honest with God above all things. We are sinful by nature because Adam and Eve brought sin into God’s creation. Jesus was the only man without sin; no one else has ever been sinless–no, not one.

      In Isaiah 59:1-4, we see how we fall short of God:
      “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
      That it cannot save;
      Nor is His ear so dull
      That it cannot hear.
      But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
      And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
      For your hands are defiled with blood
      And your fingers with iniquity;
      Your lips have spoken falsehood,
      Your tongue mutters wickedness.
      No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly.
      They trust in confusion and speak lies;
      They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.”

      And in John 3:16-21, we see how God loves His creation and wants us in Heaven with him:
      “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

    • RB

      Through our sin-stained eyes, with the help of Satan, we interpret God’s word to our liking. Homosexuality, lewd behavior, theft, sex before marriage, and abortion were MUCH less prevalent before 1800. Beginning in the 19th Century, we began tailoring our understanding of God’s word to fit our own lives and our culture, to justify what we do that we know in the bottom of our hearts is wrong. We’ve started praising homosexuality (“if they love each other, let them be!”), sex before marriage (“kids will be kids”), living together before marriage (“gotta test the waters first!”), abortion (“I can’t have a kid right now; it will ruin my life!”), and divorce (“I’ll just give up and find someone else, taking the easy way out”).

      • Tysinn

        Slavery, sexism, discrimination, and polio are also much less prevelant now than they were before 1800

    • RB

      But when we put God’s eternal unchanging Word first, we tend to follow His teachings to the best of our ability. No one is perfect; do not get me wrong. We all fall short of the glory of God. But God wants to save us. He wants us to join him in Heaven for all eternity. He wants to help us through our trials. He wants us to follow His Word.

    • RB

      But when our wants trump his wants, we fall farther and farther away from our only true salvation, Jesus, hung on a tree for the sins of the world. Only by holding fast to His unchanging Word taught in its truth and receiving the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper can we inherit the Kingdom of God. There is no other way; no, not one.

    • RB

      @dtown kcj: You are not in charge either. God is in control, and neither He nor His Word ever changes. He has remained the same through the ages. I will not “get used” to homosexual marriage. I condemn it and will always do so, just as God condemns it.

  • Chelsea

    I do not see where anyone has the right to tell anyone who they can marry. Marriage is about love and commitment.
    Love has no race, color,age, or sex. We love who we love. People should be able to mary who they want when they want and where they want. We are supposed to be the country of freedom. It’s sad we still have biggots witj closed minds in this country.

    • RB

      So I guess Jesus has no right to tell us who we can marry either?

      Matthew 19:4-6: “And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.””

      Bigots unfairly dislike others. I do not dislike gays. I disagree with their lifestyle. There IS a difference.