ACLU to File Suit Challenging Missouri’s Ban on Gay Marriage

The ACLU will file suit this week to overturn Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage, the News-Leader reports:

MissouriStephanie Perkins, deputy director for PROMO, a Missouri gay and lesbian advocacy group, said the litigation seeks to overturn Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage.

Couples from Kansas City, St. Louis, mid-Missouri and Springfield are included in the suit, which will be filed in state court in Kansas City.

Charles Abernathy, spokesman for the GLO Center in Springfield, said a news conference involving the ACLU litigation has been scheduled at the GLO Center for Wednesday.

Missouri's ban was passed in 2004.


  1. Miguel R says

    The interesting thing is that having a ban on same-sex marriage on the books at this point seems to make gay marriage MORE likely in your state (because you can prove that it is unconstitutional?) I say this as someone who knows next to nothing about law. But as an uninformed bystander, I would think that it is almost better to have gay marriage bans active so that you can reverse the (obviously discriminatory) law. I am asking people with legal expertise here- is this actually true? If this is true, and if gay marriage has been deemed a state issue (again, I don’t know that this is what Supreme court actually said), might the next step to getting gay marriage in all 50 states be to get (unconstitutional) gay marriage laws passed in order to have the law overturned by the courts and ultimately legalize gay marriage? Is that crazy?
    Please don’t say hateful things to me. I know it is crazy. I know nothing about the law. I am just asking a naive question. So please take it in that spirit.

  2. Simon says

    I am not a law expert. It seems that the New Mexico case may answer your question.
    They didn’t have a ban. It seems that the World all knows that anything that is not forbidden explicitly is allowed in America.
    Nevertheless there was still some confusion among the clerks. They asked the state Supreme Court to clarify this issue and the court ruled that same marriage marriage was indeed constitutional.

  3. JJ says

    @Miguel, what you need to sue the state is some injury caused by a state official. In these cases, it’s the denial of a marriage license by a county clerk or the like. Such officials would be subject to this kind of suit, regardless of what the state law says. The court then examines the laws involved, but you don’t take a law to court directly, you take the official who crossed you to court.

  4. says

    NEVER be ashamed to ask questions. I applaud you for you inquisitiveness.

    Short answer is that ALL states now have either a law or constitutional amendment that define marriage. 17 states allow same gender couples to marry. 33 don’t. DC allows.

    Maters not if the restriction is statute or constitutional amendment when it gets to a Federal challenge. Utah & Oklahoma laws banning same gender marriage have been struck down as unconstitutional by a Federal Court and are now being appealed at a higher court, Ninth Circuit. If the ban is judged to be unconstitutional there then it can be applied to all the states in that circuit. This will eventually happen in different Circuits around the country until and if there is a need for the Supreme Court to take a case to make a national comprehensive ruling.

    Lots of legal wranglings that are complicated (standing, criterion, harm, person to sue, stays) but I’ll explain if you want to know.

  5. SpaceCadet says

    It’s like every other day another state is sued for the right to same-sex marriage! It’s wonderful and I think positive changes are happening lightening fast. If the issue gets all the way to the Supreme Court I think the justices would legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in some part because that has been the overriding trend at the state level.

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