Missouri is one of nine states where lawmakers are forming caucuses they say will focus on preserving religious freedom.
Departing State Representative Mike McGhee (R, Odessa) is organizing Missouri’s caucus. He says one of their functions will be to consult with lawmakers in other states on making sure that the language used in bills doesn’t result in the erosion of religious rights.
When voters go to the polls on Tuesday they’ll be asked to decide on an amendment to the state constitution. Supporters say the Missouri Right to Pray amendment will protect residents’ right to practice their religion. Those against it say it’s not only redundant, but sneaky.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports.
"We need to make sure that people don't have to live in fear..."
The measure would make it a misdemeanor to use, “profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior,” or make loud disruptive noises within or just outside a public or private building where a worship service is being held. It was sponsored by Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter).
“It’s important for citizens here in Missouri to have their First Amendment rights protected," Mayer said. "There (have) been instances across the country where there have been actual disturbances in churches and synagogues.”