Southern Baptist Lawmaker Seeks to Stop State Government from Issuing Marriage Licenses Altogether

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A Southern Baptist lawmaker is proposing a truce in the political battle over same-sex marriage by getting the state government out of the business of issuing marriage licenses altogether.

Missouri State Rep. T.J. Berry, a member and deacon at First Baptist Church of Kearney, Mo., pre-filed a bill Dec. 1 to replace marriage licenses with “contracts of domestic union” as a remedy to controversies across the country involving government employees who object to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples for religious reasons.

Berry, whose pastor, Ken Parker, is current president of the Missouri Baptist Convention, told the Associated Press that he filed the legislation without his church’s blessing.

Don Hinkle, editor of The Pathway newspaper and the Baptist state convention’s staff member assigned oversight of public policy concerns, said endorsing Berry’s measure would be seen as acceptance of the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

“We believe that the Bible is literally the words of God, and we’re to keep his commandments, and he makes it very clear that marriage is to be only between a man and a woman.” Hinkle told the wire service.

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SOURCE: Baptist News Global
Bob Allen