The Amendment

"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to provide that the state shall not penalize religious organizations and certain individuals for religious beliefs or acts concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex, but the amendment does not prevent the provision of a marriage license or other marital benefits to such persons?"

What can you do?

It is essential that you show support for religious freedom in Missouri, and YOU can take action by contacting your State Representative! Click below to find your State Representative. Then, email or call their office to let them know you support the Religious Freedom Amendment as passed by the Senate with NO AMENDMENTS.

Latest News

SJR 39 dies in committee, Missourians denied chance to vote

JEFFERSON CITY – Missourians will not get the opportunity to have their say on Senate Joint Resolution 39, also known as the Missouri Religious Liberty Amendment. The House of Representatives’ Emerging Issues Committee on Wednesday voted 6-6 on the bill, thus ending its chances of making it out of committee to the full House, and […]

If SJR 39 fails, our future is bleak

The Missouri State University advisor wrote a letter to department officials claiming that Cash had not recanted from his earlier-stated religious views. A year later, MSU expelled Cash from the counseling program, according to the suit.

Gay Lawmaker: You May Be Denied Federal Programs for Aiding Religious Freedom

An openly gay Missouri state representative told a Farm Bureau staff member that her support for a pro-marriage amendment to the state constitution could result in a loss of federal subsidies to her organization and to the state’s farmers. The pro-marriage amendment is intended to protect religious leaders and wedding vendors who support marriage — […]

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    Full Text of Religious Liberty Amendment

    That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2016, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article I of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:

    Section A. Article I, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 36, to read as follows:

    Section 36. 1. (1) That the state shall not impose a penalty on a religious organization on the basis that the organization believes or acts in accordance with a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex;

    (2) That the state shall not impose a penalty on any clergy or other religious leader on the basis that such cleric or leader declines to perform, solemnize, or facilitate a marriage or ceremony because of a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex, nor shall the state refuse to authorize any clergy or religious leader to conduct marriages recognized by the state because of a sincere religious belief concerning such a marriage;

    (3) That the state shall not impose a penalty on any church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other house of worship, denomination, or other religious organization on the basis that such organization declines to make its buildings or other facilities and property open or available to perform, solemnize, or facilitate a marriage or ceremony because of a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex; and

    (4)That the state shall not impose a penalty on an individual who declines either to be a participant in a marriage or wedding ceremony or to provide goods or services of expressional or artistic creation for such a marriage or ceremony or an ensuing celebration thereof, because of a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.

    1. As used in subsection 1 of this section, "penalty" means, but is 26 not limited to, any adverse action taken by the state to:

    (1)Alter the tax treatment of, or cause any tax, fine, or payment to be assessed against, to delay, revoke, or otherwise deny an exemption from taxation of, any religious organization;

    (2) Disallow or hinder a deduction for tax purposes of any charitable contribution made to any religious organization;

    (3) Withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any accreditation, license, certificate, contract, grant, loan, guarantee, or insurance from or to any religious organization;

    (4) Withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any entitlement, social service benefit, health care benefit, or to alter or deny a custody award, foster home placement, or adoption from, to, or by any religious organization;

    (5) Deny access to meeting space, channels of communication, or other resources at an educational institution that is otherwise available to other student organizations, participation in charitable fundraising campaigns that are otherwise available to other charitable organizations, or access to minister at correctional institutions or other public facilities and property as is otherwise available to other nongovernmental organizations, to or by any religious organization; or

    (6) Recognize or allow an administrative charge or civil claim against a religious organization or individual.

    1. The state shall consider accredited, licensed, or certified for purposes of state law any religious organization that would be accredited, licensed, or certified, respectively, for such purposes but for a determination that the organization believes or acts in accordance with a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.

     

    1. (1) Nothing in this section prevents the state from providing a license to marry or providing any other marital entitlement, service, or benefits authorized by state law.

    (2) Nothing in this section permits a hospital or other health care facility, or an elder care facility or hospice, to refuse to treat a marriage as valid for purposes of a spouse's right to visitation or to make surrogate health care decisions.

    1. For purposes of this section, the following terms mean:

    (1) "Acts", any action or failure to take action, including failure to participate in, perform, encourage, service, solemnize, or facilitate, all without regard to whether or not compelled by or central to a system of religious belief;

    (2) "Individual", a natural person or a closely held commercial entity owned by a natural person or persons;

    (3) "Religious organization", an organization that is: (a) A house of worship, including but not limited to, a church, diocese, conference, convention, denomination, association, synagogue, mosque, or temple; (b) A religious society, corporation, entity, partnership, order, preschool, school, institution of higher education, ministry, charity, social service provider, children's home, hospital or other health care facility, hospice, elder care facility, or crisis pregnancy center, whether or not connected to or affiliated with a church, diocese, denomination, or other organization of churches, where said organization holds itself out to the public in whole or in part as religious and its purposes and activities are in whole or in part religious; or (c) Any clergy, religious leader, minister, officer, manager, employee, member, or volunteer of any entity described in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this subdivision, while acting in the scope of his or her office, employment, or duties of position;

    (4) "State", a governmental body or person that is: (a) A department, commission, board, agency, office, committee, or court of this state, and any agent of the state or an official acting under color of law of the state; or (b) A municipality, county, school district, or other political subdivision in this state, and any agent of such a body or official acting  under color of law of a political subdivision.

    1. (1) A religious organization or individual may assert an actual or threatened violation of this section as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, or other hearing or dispute resolution process.

    (2) A claim or defense under this section shall proceed without regard to whether the state is a named party in the judicial or administrative proceeding, or other hearing or dispute resolution process.

    (3) A claim under this section may be commenced, and relief may be granted, in a court of competent jurisdiction without regard to whether the religious organization or individual commencing the claim has pursued or exhausted available administrative remedies.

    (4) The court may award compensatory damages, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or any other appropriate relief against the state, and the state waives any immunity from liability in actions brought under this section.

    1. Nothing in this section repeals or supersedes any state law that is equally or more protective of religious beliefs or acts. Nothing in this section narrows the meaning or application of any state law 110 protecting religious beliefs or acts.
    1. If any provision of this section or any application of such provision to any religious organization or individual is held to be contrary to the United States Constitution or otherwise in conflict with the laws of the United States, the remainder of this section and the application of the provision to any other religious organizations or individuals shall not be affected.

    Section B. Pursuant to chapter 116, and other applicable constitutional provisions and laws of this state allowing the general assembly to adopt ballot language for the submission of this joint resolution to the voters of this state, the official summary statement of this resolution shall be as follows:

    "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to provide that the state shall not penalize religious organizations and certain individuals for religious beliefs or acts concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex, but the amendment does not prevent the provision of a marriage license or other marital benefits to such persons?"