Metro Weekly

State judge rules against Missouri same-sex marriage ban

Credit: Steven Martin/flickr.
Credit: Steven Martin/flickr.

A judge in Missouri found the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Wednesday in a ruling that will impact the city of St. Louis.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison found the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. According to the ruling, “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 that the city of St. Louis “has the authority to issue marriage licenses to any same sex couple that satisfies all the requirements for marriage under Missouri law, other than being of different sexes.” Reports indicate that same-sex couples have already started to marry in the city. It is not yet clear if the ruling will impact other parts of Missouri.

UPDATE at 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 5: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said the state will appeal the decision by Burlison, but will not seek a stay, thus allowing same-sex marriages to continue.

“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,” Koster said in a statement. “Following decisions in Idaho and Alaska, the United States Supreme Court has refused to grant stays on identical facts. We will not seek a stay of this court’s order when the United States Supreme Court has ruled none should be granted.”

Missouri Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

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