WICHITA, Kansas (BP)–The issue of protecting marriage in Kansas is “a hill upon which to die,” Pat Bullock, director of missions for the Heart of Kansas Southern Baptist Association, told more than 250 people at a March 30 rally to support an amendment protecting traditional marriage.
Bullock urged Kansas legislators to allow the electorate to decide the measure at the polls in November.
The previous week, the Kansas Senate failed to pass a measure that would have allowed Kansas residents to vote on the amendment to the state constitution during the November elections. Kansas House Concurrent Bill 5033 would have defined marriage in Kansas as between a man and a woman and would not have allowed civil unions.
Through a series of procedural moves and a gutting of the original bill passed by the House, the Senate failed to pass the bill.
Pastors and members of Wichita-area congregations, as well as a number of state legislators attended the March meeting hosted by Immanuel Baptist Church.
Joe Wright, pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita, said he was “disgusted that we are now just about to see all of the legislative sessions come to an end and we are not going to have an amendment to our constitution to ban same-sex ‘marriage.’”
This is not a “Republican or Democrat issue,” Mark Hoover, pastor of Messiah Baptist Church in Wichita, said. “It is not a ‘Blue State-Red State’ issue,” he said in reference to polling focused on states won by Al Gore and George Bush, respectively, in the 2000 election.
“This goes to the very heart of our culture and our civilization,” Hoover said.
Terry Fox, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, encouraged representatives of various churches at the meeting to organize to press the legislature to bring the issue back to the floor. Fox also urged the churches to organize to help elect those who hold to traditional values.
Fox suggested each church to form action committees, inform their members about the issues and encourage their members to get out and vote.
Also speaking at the meeting were Bob Hanson, pastor of Shawnee Heights Baptist Church in Topeka, and Mike Farmer, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference and a former legislator from Wichita.
Tim Boyd is a writer with The Baptist Digest, newsjournal of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: PASTOR PLAN.