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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft told FOX4 Thursday he thinks the Respect for Marriage Act that passed the U.S. Senate Tuesday was an overstep of the federal government’s powers.

“It’s not a Respect for Marriage Act. It’s a disrespect for people of faith act,” he said.

Tuesday, Ashcroft sent a letter to fellow Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, saying the bill hurts a group’s rights to religious freedoms.

“Like the vast majority of Missourians, I believe marriage is the exclusive, lifelong, conjugal union between one man and one woman,” part of the two-page typed out letter later read. It ended with a hand written note saying, ‘Please, I urge you to stand strong for Missourians.

“You know, what I think doesn’t matter,” Ashcroft said when asked if same sex couples should be able to get married. “I’m the secretary of state. The Supreme Court has spoken and once again, that’s not what this law is about. It is the law of land that same sex couples may get married. It cannot be changed by statute because the Supreme Court found that right to be constitutional.”

Other people in the state were not happy about the secretary of state’s letter to Blunt.

“There are a lot of people, including myself that were surprised to see him write a personal letter with a cute little note attached to it saying, ‘Do what’s right for Missourians,'” LGBTQ activist Justice Horn said.

Regardless of the letter, Blunt, and 11 other Republicans supported the act.

“I didn’t send the letter out originally,” Ashcroft continued. “Originally, I reached out to him somewhat privately in a telephone call and left him a message that I was disappointed by what I thought was happening and wanted as someone that I considered a friend, I wanted to give him the opportunity to explain and to point out that if I was wrong to explain to me where I was wrong.”

A spokeswoman for Blunt would not answer any specific questions about Ashcroft’s letter, only citing that earlier in the month that he would support the act.

Blunt’s retiring in a month. Ashcroft on the other hand is widely considered to be a candidate for Governor in Missouri in 2024.

Governor Mike Parson is term limited. One person who’s already said he’s going to run for Governor is current Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, another Republican.

“This isn’t something that’s done because I want to run for office,” Ashcroft said Thursday. “This is something because this is what I believe, and all these characteristics are things that I’ve espoused before, and I will continue to.”

A number of candidates running for governor on the Republican side would make for a primary for that position in two years.

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