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Same-sex Couples Begin Marrying in Jackson County, Missouri: VIDEO

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Following Judge Ortrie D. Smith's ruling earlier today striking down Missori's gay marriage ban, Jackson County officials began welcoming eager same-sex couples to courthouses in Kansas City and Independence.

Check out photos and videos of couples tying the knot, AFTER THE JUMP...

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a supporter of marriage equality, has said he will appeal the ruling to the 8th Circuit.

[photo via Twitter]

Continue reading "Same-sex Couples Begin Marrying in Jackson County, Missouri: VIDEO" »


Missouri Attorney General Will Appeal Ruling Striking Down Gay Marriage Ban to 8th Circuit

KosterMissouri Attorney General Chris Koster released this statement following today's fuling from a federal judge striking down the state's gay marriage ban:

"The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri today ruled that Missouri's ban against same-sex marriage violates the equal protection and due process guarantees of the United States Constitution. We will appeal the ruling to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals."

Earlier this week, Koster appealed a separate ruling striking down the state's ban which applied only to St. Louis.


Federal Judge Strikes Down Missouri's Gay Marriage Ban

Following a ruling late Wednesday which applied only to St. Louis, a federal judge has struck down Missouri's gay marriage ban, the ACLU reports:

SmithU.S. District Court Judge Ortrie D. Smith ruled today that same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses. This judgment strikes down Missouri’s 2004 constitutional amendment that excluded gay men and lesbians from marriage allowing Missouri to join the 32 states and the District of Columbia that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The ruling came in Lawson v. Jackson County, a lawsuit filed June 24 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri (ACLU of Missouri) on behalf of two couples (Angela Curtis & Shannon McGinty and Kyle Lawson & Evan Dahlgren), who were denied marriage licenses earlier this year.

Said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri:

“Today’s ruling affirms what the ACLU has always proclaimed—same-sex couples and their families should be treated just like any other loving family. Missouri will no longer categorically exclude gay men and lesbians from the institution of marriage—marriage is marriage, regardless of your sexual orientation.” 

Read the ruling HERE.


Missouri Counties Holding Off on Gay Marriages Despite Yesterday's Pro-Equality Ruling

Missouri

St. Louis remains the only city in Missouri to have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following yesterday's ruling overturning the state's ban on gay marriage, the AP reports:

The president of the Recorders' Association of Missouri said the group was advising county officials Wednesday that the ruling by St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison applies only to that city and not the rest of the state.

Association president Jan Jones said she was following that advice in Johnson County and not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Officials in Boone, Cole, Greene, Miller, Osage and Jasper counties also said they weren't issuing the licenses.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a marriage equality supporter, appealed the case to the state Supreme Court but did not request a stay on the ruling. 


Gay Couples Begin to Marry In St. Louis, Missouri As AG Appeals Pro-Equality Ruling: PHOTOS

STL

Following St. Louis, Missouri Circuit Judge Rex Burlison's ruling today that officials in that city can issue marriage licenses to gay couples, same-sex couples turned up at city hall to say "I do." 

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed reports that Missouri's Attorney General Chris Koster will appeal Burlison's ruling but will not request a stay:

We have appealed the ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court. The constitutional challenge to Missouri's historically recognized right to define marriage must be presented to and resolved by the state's highest court. Following decisions in Idaho and Alaska, the United States Supreme Court has refused to grant stays on identical facts. We will not seek aa stay of this court's order when the United States Supreme Court has ruled none should be granted."

Check out some incredible images of marriage equality arriving in St. Louis, courtesy of CBS reporter Michael Calhoun's incredible Twitter feed, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Couples Begin to Marry In St. Louis, Missouri As AG Appeals Pro-Equality Ruling: PHOTOS" »


Gay Couples Free to Marry in St. Louis, Missouri After Judge Rules Ban is Unconstitutional

Marriages

St. Louis, Missouri Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled today that officials in that city can issue marriage licenses to gay couples, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

Burlison"The Court finds and declares that any same sex couple that satisfies all the requirements for marriage under Missouri law, other than being of different sexes, is legally entitled to a marriage license," Burlison wrote.

He said that the Missouri Constitution violates the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Burlison's ruling comes more than four months after four couples were married at St. Louis City Hall, even though there is a 10-year-old constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

The act of defiance, choreographed with the support of Mayor Francis Slay and then-Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter, led Attorney General Chris Koster to file an injunction preventing more marriage licenses from being issued to same-sex couples.

Freedom to Marry adds:

On-the-ground advocates confirmed that the judge did not place a hold on the decision, meaning that as soon as today, same-sex couples in St. Louis should be free to marry right in theri home city.

The decision is in St. of Missouri v. Jennifer Florida, a state legal case filed by the state of Missouri in the summer of 2014 after then-Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples in Missouri. It comes just over a month after a related ruling in state court in Barrier v. Vasterling, which declared that Missouri must respect the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster did not appeal the Barrier ruling.

Read the ruling below, via Equality Case Files:

1422-CC09027 Order and Judgment by Equality Case Files


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