On Tuesday, Missouri voters will be asked the following question, in the form of constitutional Amendment 2:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman?
"The amendment is directed at potential litigation (against the state)," said Carl Esbeck, a law professor at MU.
Esbeck said single-sex couples would lose one defense if the amendment were to pass -- the ability to challenge the Missouri Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional under the Missouri Constitution. However, they could still challenge the law as a violation of the federal Constitution, he said.
"Most of us wouldn't see any change at all (in Missouri law)," Esbeck said.
If Amendment 2 passes, the following language would be added to Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution: "That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman."
The Rev. Eileen Lindner, deputy general secretary of the National Council of Churches, said she thinks the amendment will be challenged if it passes and thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually have to make a definitive decision.
"There's no doubt that the constitutionality of those laws will be challenged," she said, noting that she doesn't believe Americans should see the challenges as negative. "This is how democracy is done."