What are Missouri’s views on same-sex marriage?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Monday, November 3, 2014.

Same sex marriage is gaining popularity across the country. Some states have legalized it, and many other states have cases in the courts that are trying to challenge the bans on same-sex marriage. So far this year, the Supreme Court has upheld rulings that permit same-sex marriage in five more states, and although Missouri is not one of those states, the issue is cropping up in our court system.

Earlier this month, a ruling came down from a Jackson County Circuit Judge that could change the landscape of family law in our state. The ruling found that Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states that do not ban same-sex marriage. This is in stark contrast to 10 years ago, when Missouri passed a constitutional amendment that ensured same-sex marriages were not recognized in our state. At the time, Missouri was the first state to approve such an amendment and nearly three quarters of Missouri residents voted in favor of it.

It is difficult to tell if the same majority of people still hold that same-sex marriage should be prohibited, but shortly after the ruling, the Attorney General of Missouri announced that the ruling would not be appealed. This means that as of now, it is standing practice for the state of Missouri to recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in other states that license the practice, and it is unlikely to change any time soon.

Still, it is important to remember that this does not mean that Missouri licenses same-sex marriages. As of right now, same-sex couples cannot be married in Missouri. However, at the rate same-sex marriage legalization is gaining steam, that may not be the case for long. The winds of change appear to be blowing.

Source: The Joplin Globe, “Same-sex marriage advancing in states despite amendments, laws that prohibit it,” Andra Bryan Stefanoni, Oct. 25, 2014

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