County GOP passes resolution condemning same-sex marriage

Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas, Obergefell, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Respect for Marriage Act
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A local Republican party organization held a vote on a resolution condemning same-sex marriage that passed 44-14.

The Jackson County, Missouri Republican Party also voted on a resolution censuring gay state Rep. Chris Sander (R) for supporting marriage equality. That resolution failed because, even though a majority of the county party voted for it, they needed a supermajority to pass it.

“I feel unwelcome, unsupported, and excluded by [a] limited group of members on [the] Jackson County GOP committee,” Sander told the Kansas City Star. “I attend our meetings, support our committee, support our voters’ decisions, and pay dues as a Van Buren Township committeeman.”

At issue is the state lawmaker’s attempt to get his state to pass a constitutional amendment to remove its state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage. Currently, the Missouri constitution defines marriage as between “one man and one woman”; Sander’s amendment would have changed that to “two individuals.”

His attempt to pass an amendment that would make LGBTQ+ rights more secure in Missouri led to an acrimonious fight with local party officials. Jackson County Republican Party committee member Dave Thomas filed a resolution in February to censure Sander that said in part: “Marriage is valid as defined only between one man and one woman according to nature and nature’s God, and this truth is held by us to be self-evident and unalienable.” Thomas’s resolution said that any member of the party would be censured for trying to define marriage as anything other than “between one man and one woman.”

That resolution failed, and that’s when party officials started saying Sander supports pedophilia.

“The mere fact that you want to change the wording from ‘one man and one woman’ to ‘two individuals’ is an abomination to mankind and to God himself,” Teresa McBride, vice chair of the Jackson County Republican Party, said last month.

“The term ‘two individuals’ could be defined and interpreted in many different ways and open the door for pedophiles to legally rape and physically harm children. That is disgusting and promoting an agenda as such, is an abomination to our country.”

While the county party wasn’t able to censure Sander this time, they got another resolution passed affirming their opposition to marriage equality. The resolution quotes the Missouri Republican Party platform, which, like many GOP platforms – including the national GOP platform – affirms the party’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

Missouri’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage can’t be enforced ever since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. But the Court could overturn that decision, a possibility made clear last year when the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which was based on some of the same reasoning as Obergefell. Moreover, Justice Clarence Thomas said in his concurring opinion that the Court should reevaluate Obergefell next.

Sander’s amendment would have meant that same-sex marriage would remain legal in the state even if the Supreme Court were to overturn Obergefell.

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