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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Says He Supports Gay Marriage; State Will Take Tax Returns from Gay Couples

Some rather big news out of Missouri on Thursday.

NixonGovernor Jay Nixon announced that he supports gay marriage in a press conference announcing that the state will accept joint tax returns from gay couples married in other states, the Columbia Tribune reports:

In an executive order, Nixon directed the Department of Revenue to accept the combined returns as a reaction to the June ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law barred same sex couples who were legally married from receiving any marriage-based federal benefits, such as tax exemptions and Social Security payments. Under state law, couples who file a joint federal return are required to file a combined state tax return. The executive order clarifies that the law applies to all couples, Nixon said.

Nixon also made clear his personal views:

“Many Missourians, including myself, are thinking about these issues of equality in new ways and reflecting on what constitutes discrimination. For me, that process has led to the belief that we shouldn’t treat folks differently because of who they are.”

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  1. yes, this is really wonderful news.

    Posted by: woody | Nov 15, 2013 8:25:16 AM

  2. This is a great step and will be very positive for Missourisns who travel to Iowa or Illinois to marry.

    Posted by: Aaron | Nov 15, 2013 8:49:08 AM

  3. Who'd have thought someone named Nixon would be such a good public servant? It really is the "show me" state. Andy Cohen for the next governor? Could happen.

    Posted by: Cd in DC | Nov 15, 2013 9:30:07 AM

  4. Call me a cynic, but I think this was more about the decision to avoid a lawsuit challenging state law than about fairness. That was my first thought anyway, despite being a seemingly positive development.

    Posted by: WOLF | Nov 15, 2013 9:35:17 AM

  5. Thank you Gov. Nixon, for moving equality a little further along!

    Posted by: bear | Nov 15, 2013 10:29:55 AM

  6. This sounds like good news. It was recently reported that Ohio could inadvertently be giving gay couples a tax break by disallowing joint tax filing due to its marriage ban. It may be that Governor Nixon is avoiding that folly.

    Posted by: Stan D | Nov 15, 2013 10:53:12 AM

  7. The democrats from my homestate are always the last ones to get it. Many Fresno republicans are more publicly pro-gray rights than Missouri Democrats. And on the Republican side, Mo. has some of the dumbest, most backward folks like Rep. Vicki Hartzler ( a not-pretty Michelle Bachmann clone), who - because of re-drawn districts now represents Columbia, one of the most liberal parts of Missouri. Grr.

    Posted by: Jesse | Nov 15, 2013 11:27:34 AM

  8. It won't avoid a lawsuit if the recognition is limited to tax filings and no other purpose under state law. This (along with Oregon last month) is fallout from the Ohio judge who ordered the state to recognize the marriage of a terminally ill gay man. If the state recognizes any OOS mariages that wouldn't be legal if performed in that state, then they cannot carve out an exception for SSM without running afoul of equal protection violations of the 14th Amendment.

    Waldman, I think this is your cue for another column.

    Posted by: BZ | Nov 15, 2013 11:28:19 AM

  9. This is a great step forward!

    Posted by: reality | Nov 15, 2013 12:54:18 PM

  10. How nice to hear. I also want to thank teh Governor.

    Posted by: Ted | Nov 15, 2013 1:22:37 PM

  11. Kudos to Governor Jay Nixon! His action sets a precedent, and it will strengthen any marriage equality case filed in the state of Missouri.

    Posted by: RonCharles | Nov 15, 2013 2:59:46 PM

  12. his actions may have ulterior motives, or not, but his words beyond that saying that he has come to the conclusion folks shouldn't be treated differently is pretty unequivocal. i don't know his party, but if he is republican, that is a spectacular statement, and not too shabby if he is dem, either.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Nov 16, 2013 10:12:12 AM

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