LITTLE ROCK — The House on Tuesday rejected two measures calling for a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage and abortion nationwide.
Senate Joint Resolution 7 by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, failed in a 29-41 vote in the House after passing 18-9 in the Senate last month.
The measure calls for Arkansas to request a convention of states to propose a constitutional amendment “prohibiting the United States Constitution or the constitutions or laws of any state from defining or construing the definition of ‘marriage’ to mean other than the union of one man and one woman.”
SJR 9, also by Rapert, failed in a 29-38 vote in the House after passing 19-9 in the Senate last month.
The measure would request a convention to propose an amendment “providing that every human being from the moment of conception is a person and entitled to the right to life.”
Under Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution, 34 states would have to call for a constitutional convention for one to be held. A proposed amendment would have to be ratified by 38 states to become part of the Constitution.
Rep. Stephen Meeks, R-Greenbrier, speaking in support of the resolution on banning gay marriage, urged House members to stand up for states’ rights.
“Our rights are being taken away,” he said.
Rep. Jana Della Rosa, R-Rogers, said she does not believe in changing the Constitution “every time we don’t like something from the Supreme Court.”