The so-called religious shield law, SJR 39, has already made a big impact on the Missouri General Assembly’s session. And depending on what the Missouri House does in the next couple of weeks, the proposed constitutional amendment could loom very large over the race for Missouri governor.
The proposal would legally shield people from participating in or selling services to a same-sex wedding. To say the measure stoked controversy would be an understatement, especially after GOP senators used a parliamentary maneuver to cut off debate and get it to the House.
But unlike similar measures in Mississippi and Indiana, voters will have the final say over whether SJR 39 gets adopted into the Missouri Constitution. And that means if the House passes Sen. Bob Onder’s amendment without any changes, it could impact other races regardless of when Gov. Jay Nixon schedules the vote. After all, ballot initiatives have played a big role in the ebb and flow of competitive elections. Just ask U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill about it.
So with debate over SJR 39 at a fever pitch, this reporter thought it would be helpful to spell out what the five major gubernatorial candidates had to say about the amendment. Several candidates have been fairly out spoken in their positions. Others? Not so much.