St. Louis Hub

Missouri Senator Wants To Fire County Recorders Who Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses


Missouri officials would lose their jobs for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — or recognizing their unions for any purpose — under a bill introduced by a Republican state senator. 

Senate Bill 555, by Sen. Ed Emery (above) — which is similar to anti-gay legislation introduced in other states, but even more extreme — seeks to undermine a likely U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality in June. 

The bill states that no same-sex marriage can be "recognized or enforced for any purpose in this state." It also states that no state or local funds can be used for the licensing or support of same-sex marriages, and that employees who violate those provisions "may be terminated and shall no longer receive any salary and employee benefits."

KOMU-TV reported this week on SB 555, which was actually introduced back in February: 

[Boone County Recorder Nora] Dietzel said she thinks this idea is "outlandish" and that her job requires her to follow the law, even if it is decided on the state, federal, or judicial level.

"Our personal opinion about same-sex marriage or whether or not that is right or wrong does not enter into it at all," Dietzel said. ... 

"It certainly puts recorders in a bad position having to choose between doing what they feel their duty is and being attacked at a very personal level," Dietzel said.

In defending the bill, Emery invoked the popular right-wing argument that marriage was created by God: 

"We need to make a clear statement by the legislature that acknowledges the facts of this relationship versus the politics of it," Emery said.

Emery also said it isn't up to the state or any government employee to define marriage.

"The state did not create marriage, it did not define marriage, it simply acknowledges marriage by our laws," Emery said.

SB 555 is an emergency act — "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace and safety" — meaning it would take effect immediately if passed. However, given that the state's legislative session ends in two weeks and the bill hasn't had a hearing, that seems unlikely. 

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in the city of St. Louis, as well as in St. Louis and Jackson counties. Additionally, Missouri recognizes same-sex marriages from other states. 

Surprisingly, Emery hasn't experienced much backlash over the bill on Twitter, although we did find this little gem: 

St. Louis Musician Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Discriminated Against Because His Partner is a Black Man

CgmedMusician and teacher James Mounsey has sued the St. Louis Irish Arts Center (SLIA), citing discrimination. Specifically, the suit says “defendants began to discriminate against [Mounsey]...because his partner is a black man.”

The SLIA is an official member of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the international organization that promotes traditional Irish arts and culture. Mounsey's lawsuit points to the rules of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, which he claims were violated by other SLIA employees, who undermined and discriminated against him on the basis of his same-sex relationship.

Specifically implicated in the lawsuit is SLIA director Helen Gannon. Mounsey says Gannon once told him: “you [Mounsey] have made some grave decisions very, very quickly which will affect every aspect of your life flaunting them and forcing us to accept them which will have consequences out of your control.”

Gannon denies having made these statements, saying “teachers were discouraged from bringing dates to work,“ but that otherwise, Mounsey's claims are false.

With his lawsuit, Mounsey has provided a letter he sent to Gannon, resigning due to a "discriminatory atmosphere" in the workplace. In December 2013, while on a trip to his native Ireland, Mounsey was told via letter that he was "no longer affiliated with SLIA."

[h/t Irish Central]

Church Threatens Legal Action Against 'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Over iTunes Song: AUDIO


The Church of God in Christ, the Pentacostal Christian denomination at the center of the "I'm not gay no more" megachurch conversion video that went viral earlier this month, is reportedly threatening legal action against the "gay no more" man Andrew Caldwell for remixng the video into a song and putting it on iTunes.

TMZ reports the church has ordered him to stop selling the song "partly because they own the audio, but also because they feel Andrew is making a mockery of the service." Andrew, however, claims he's copyrighted the song and that he can claim ownership because the song only contains his voice. 

Earlier this month, Caldwell addressed the widespread doubt that he had been "turned straight" and shot down sugestions that he staged the moment for publicity.  

Listen to the remix, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Church Threatens Legal Action Against 'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Over iTunes Song: AUDIO" »

Man Who Proclaimed 'I'm Not Gay No More' Gets A Funky Remix: VIDEO


You may recall the story we brought you of an ex-gay man who proclaimed to his Missouri mega-church, "I'm not gay no more":

"I'm not gay no more. I am delivered! I don't like mens no more. I said I like women. Women women women women! I said women! I'm not gay! I would not date a man! I would not carry a purse! I would not put on make-up! I will, I will love a women."

Now, thanks to YouTube, what was once a sad statement on repression is now a funky tune. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t Joe.My.God]

Continue reading "Man Who Proclaimed 'I'm Not Gay No More' Gets A Funky Remix: VIDEO" »

Megachurch Celebrates After Man Declares He's Not Gay Anymore: VIDEO


At the Church of God in Christ’s 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend, a 21-year-old man declared himself "delivered" from homosexuality, and a clip of his declaration and the church's subsequent celebration have gone viral with the help of a Vine clip.

Watch the full video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said the man:

"I'm not gay no more. I am delivered! I don't like mens no more. I said I like women. Women women women women! I said women! I'm not gay! I would not date a man! I would not carry a purse! I would not put on make-up! I will, I will love a women."

As the church celebrated, the pastor rewarded the man with $100:

"We love you son. You can live for God. Your past is just that, behind you. Better is in front of you. He's a brand new creature...God said he's going to bless you because of your commitment. Just to prove it, he just told me to give you $100."

Watch the full video, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "Megachurch Celebrates After Man Declares He's Not Gay Anymore: VIDEO" »

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


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. 


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