Jay Nixon Hub




Thursday Speed Read: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, Ohio, Oregon, Michael McShane, NOM, Crystal Moore

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE?

NixonThe Republican-led committee of the Missouri legislature discussed a proposal Wednesday to impeach Democratic Governor Jay Nixon because he issued an executive order allowing same-sex couples who have obtained marriage licenses in other states to file joint state tax returns in Missouri. Rep. Nick Marshall, who introduced the resolution, said he did so because Nixon “usurped the people and their authority to determine their constitution.” Voters in 2004 amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriages. The St. Louis Dispatch noted that the resolution has little time to advance, given the legislature adjourns in four weeks. Earlier this month, a Missouri judge denied a petition for a temporary restraining order to block Nixon’s directive. The judge will hold a hearing on the challenge May 2.

LET THE SIGNING BEGIN:

An LGBT group in Ohio earned a go-ahead to begin collecting signatures to put a ballot measure before voters to repeal the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Ohio Ballot Board announced Tuesday that FreedomOhio can begin collecting signatures the more than 385,000 signatures it needs. A spokesman for the group told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that FreedomOhio is working with other gay groups to determine what ballot to shoot for.

‘VOTING ON PEOPLE’S RIGHTS’:

McshaneOpenly gay U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane held a two-hour-long hearing Wednesday on two lawsuits seeking to strike the state’s same-sex marriage ban. The Oregonian newspaper said McShane asked attorneys whether voters should get another vote at the ballot box "before the court steps in." Sheila Potter, representing the attorney general, who says the ban is unconstitutional, replied, "We are asking you to make a statement that we don't get to vote on peoples' constitutional rights." Basic Rights Oregon has a proposed initiative in the works to put a repeal measure on the ballot in November. The group has said it will drop that plan if the court strikes the ban as unconstitutional before May 23, an important ballot measure deadline.

ABOUT THOSE MARRIAGE PLANS:

NomlogoMcShane said he would hold a hearing May 14 on whether the National Organization for Marriage qualifies to intervene in the lawsuits to defend the ban since the attorney general has declined to do so. NOM has complained publicly that there are “serious ethical questions” about whether McShane should be presiding over the two marriage lawsuits because he is gay. “Judge McShane is in the same position as the two gay men challenging the marriage amendment, raising troubling questions about his impartiality," said John Eastman, an attorney for NOM. In court Wednesday, Judge McShane addressed that suggestion. According to the Oregonian, McShane said he and his partner “have no plans to get married.”

TINY TOWN FIGHTS BACK:

MooreLatta, South Carolina, population 1,410, is fighting to keep its openly lesbian 20-year veteran police chief. Many people in town believe Mayor Ed Bullard fired Crystal Moore because she is gay. On Tuesday, the town council voted unanimously to block Bullard from replacing Moore during the next two months. That followed a vote last week to hold a referendum June 24 on a new structure for government that would enable the town council to hire Moore back. WPDE News reported that a standing room only crowd turned out for a council meeting to show their support for Moore.

‘THE NAACP FOR GAY PEOPLE’:

In an interview with Jo Becker, author of the controversial book Forcing the Spring, NPR’s Terri Gross mentioned that Chad Griffin is now head of the Human Rights Campaign, which is, “you know, a big gay rights group.” “Exactly,” said Becker. “It’s the NAACP for gay people.”

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Missouri Judge Asked to Halt Acceptance of Joint Tax Returns from Gay Couples

A lawsuit has been filed in Missouri challenging the state's acceptance of joint tax returns from gay couples, the AP reports:

NixonThe request for a temporary restraining order was filed Wednesday in Cole County Circuit Court.

It's part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by several Missouri residents, including officials from the Missouri Baptist Convention. They're challenging a decision by Gov. Jay Nixon's (pictured) administration to accept combined tax returns from legally married same-sex couples.

Nixon is also the target of impeachment efforts by several conservative lawmakers for accepting the joint tax filings.

Nixon directed the state to accept the tax returns in an executive order last November, and at the same time made clear his personal views on same-sex marriage:

“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.”


Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, GOP Chair Ed Martin at Odds Over Gay Marriage

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told reporters this week that he favors repeal of the state's ban on same-sex marriage, the AP reports:

Nixon“I hope the voters will have a chance to revisit that issue,” Nixon, a Democrat, said in response to questions at an event sponsored by the Missouri Press Association and The Associated Press. “If it appeared on the ballot again, I would vote to allow same-sex marriage.”

Nixon’s comments came one day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to recognize the out-of-state marriages of several same-sex couples. But the governor said a vote was the appropriate way to change the state’s marriage laws, not a lawsuit.

“My personal belief is that we shouldn’t treat folks differently because of who they are and who they love. If folks want to get married, they should be able to get married,” Nixon said.

MartinThe Chairman of the Missouri GOP is, not surprisingly, against repeal of the ban and also slammed the ACLU lawsuit, the Kansas City Star reports:

Chairman Ed Martin said the suit is an “Obama-like effort to gut the constitution of our state.” ...

“To seek to have judges overrule the will of the people of our great state is not only arrogant but a waste of resources to our courts,” Martin said. “This suit is not about the issue of marriage; it is an Obama-like effort to gut the constitution of our state.

“This is a cut and dry issue for Missouri Republicans, both our national and state platforms are crystal clear on this issue. Voters matter and Missourians deserve elected leadership that supports and defends the Constitution they swear an oath to.

“We also deserve better than a governor acting lawlessly in using an executive order to circumvent our state constitution.”

The executive order referred to by Martin is one signed by Nixon directing the Department of Revenue to accept joint tax returns from gay couples as a reaction to the June ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.


8 Missouri GOP Lawmakers File to Impeach Governor for Accepting Tax Returns from Gay Couples

Back in November, Missouri Rep. Nick Marshall (R-Parkville) threatened to impeach Governor Jay Nixon for signing an executive order accepting joint tax returns from gay couples married in other states.

MarshallNow, Marshall, along with seven other Republican lawmakers, has filed to impeach Nixon.

Wrote Marshall on Facebook:

I assure you that the Articles of Impeachment filed yesterday are very serious charges that should not be taken lightly by the Governor's Office. If I just wanted publicity, I would have called a press conference. If I just wanted to send a message, I would have picked up the phone.

The Riverfront Times reports:

Marshall's legislative assistant, Beth Peters, told Daily RFT that his objection is about violating the Missouri constitution, which forbids gay marriage, not about targeting LGBT couples.

"If Missouri were a state that allowed gay marriage, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But it's not," says Beth Peters, Marshall's legislative assistant. "It has nothing to do with what people want to do in their personal lives."

Rick Brattin, Jeff Pogue, Ronald Schieber, Mike Moon, T.J. Berry, Kurt Bahr and Ken Wilson are the other Republicans involved.


Missouri Lawmaker to Seek Impeachment of Governor for Accepting Tax Returns from Gay Couples

Missouri Rep. Nick Marshall (R-Parkville) wants to impeach Governor Jay Nixon for signing an executive order accepting joint tax returns from gay couples married in other states, among other things, the AP reports:

MarshallNick Marshall, of Parkville, referred to the governor's executive order directing officials to accept joint tax filings from same-sex couples who are legally married, the release of the names of concealed gun permit holders to a federal agent and driver's license procedures.

Marshall says he believes the governor's administration has violated the law and that his motivations are not political gain or attention. He has not spoken to House leaders.

Wrote Marshall on his Facebook page:

I will seek Articles of Impeachment against the Governor. He has openly disregarded the laws and Constitution of the State of Missouri and allowed his administration to do so on multiple occasions. If we are to live under the Rule of Law, he cannot be allowed to remain in office...Anyone that knows me and my voting record knows I don't give a rat's tail about party affiliation when it comes to the Rule of Law. The Governor and his administration broke Missouri law by disclosing the CCW holder information en masse to the federal government and by cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security in the development of Real ID. The Governor's use of executive order yesterday to violate the Missouri Constitution is just another example of his willful disregard of the confines of the law.

At the same time he issued the executive order on Friday, Nixon made clear his personal views on same-sex marriage:

“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.”


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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