As the Supreme Court weighs whether to take up Missouri’s gay marriage law, the state is preparing for the worst.
Missouri has already rejected more than a dozen requests to overturn the law.
But with less than three weeks left until Election Day, the Republican-dominated legislature is already weighing its options.
A new bill, SB-1541, would allow judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, if they can show that they are in immediate danger.
The bill is sponsored by Republican state Rep. Rick Klein, a prominent conservative who is in his first term in office.
“Missouri’s state supreme court has already ruled that same-gender couples cannot marry, and now this new bill seeks to prevent the state from doing the same,” Klein said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Another bill, HB-2035, would prohibit state officials from issuing marriage licenses even if a court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right.
As if that wasn’t enough, the legislature is also considering a bill that would effectively end same-party voter registration drives.
In the state’s November general election, the GOP-controlled legislature will be voting on whether to keep same-day voter registration for same-night marriages, the Associated Tribune reports.
According to the state election board, a statewide initiative would have been required to vote on whether or not to end same party voter registration on election night.
However, it is unlikely that the initiative would be passed this year, since a similar measure passed the Missouri Senate in March.
Currently, more than 200,000 same-person couples are registered to vote in Missouri.
Last week, the Supreme State reported that, based on data collected by the Secretary of State’s office, Missouri’s same-partner registration rate is currently higher than neighboring Kansas, Georgia, and North Dakota.
Klein said he will continue to work to change Missouri’s law and would ask the state legislature to pass HB-1521 and HB-4035.
(H/T: Washington Blade)