Gov. Jay Nixon announced that voters will decide on Aug. 7 on a constitutional amendment affirming the right to pray in public places.
The summary of the measure on the Missouri House of Representatives website says it "proposes a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a citizen's right to pray and worship on public property and reaffirming a citizen's right to choose any or no religion."
As reporter Virginia Young wrote:
The measure is likely to draw social conservatives to the polls. So from a political standpoint, it stands to reason that Nixon, a Democrat, would want to get it out of the way in August, when parties are choosing their nominees, rather than in the general election pitting Democrats against Republicans.
The measure's sponsor, Rep. Mike McGhee (R-Dist. 122), said some "school children are being targeted for professing their religious beliefs."
The language of the ballot measure will read as follows: "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure: That the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed; that school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools; and that all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution."
Does Missouri need a measure like this? Do you think there were political motivations behind the timing of the vote, by eliminating a reason for conservatives to show up in the general election? How would you vote on such a measure?