By Alisa Nelson
State Representative Adam Schnelting, R-St. Charles, wants to change the legal definition of marriage to civil unions. During a Missouri House General Laws Committee hearing today about Schnelting’s bill, he says he wants to replace marriage licenses with contracts of domestic unions – sparking opposition by some traditional marriage supporters and the gay rights community.
The interpretation and intent of House Bill 2173 varies greatly from person to person and lawmaker to lawmaker. Arguments ranged from what the bill would do to marriages involving children and adoption rights, gay couples, immigration status, federal benefits, and how a civil union would be recognized in other states for married couples moving to and from Missouri.
Schnelting, a licensed minister and former pastor, says marriage is not the government’s business and his goal is to treat everyone equally.
“Whether you’re religious, whether you’re nonreligious,” he says. “Whether you’re straight, whether you’re a member of the LGBT community, this is about restoring the government to its proper role. If I don’t need a license for my Second Amendment rights, I certainly do not need the government’s permission or a license to marry.”
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