SCOTUS Takes Same Sex Marriage Case. Ruling Expected in June
January 16, 2015

(AP) – Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.
The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to overturn bans in four states and declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.
Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
That number is nearly double what it was just three months ago, when the justices initially declined to hear gay marriage appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on same-sex marriage. The effect of the court’s action in October was to make final several pro-gay rights rulings in the lower courts.
Now there are just 14 states in which same-sex couples cannot wed. The court’s decision to get involved is another marker of the rapid change that has redefined societal norms in the space of a generation.
The appeals before the court come from gay and lesbian plaintiffs in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The federal appeals court that oversees those four states upheld their same-sex marriage bans in November, reversing pro-gay rights rulings of federal judges in all four states. It was the first, and so far only, appellate court to rule against same-sex marriage since the high court’s 2013 decision.
Ten other states also prohibit such unions. In Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota and Texas, judges have struck down anti-gay marriage laws, but they remain in effect pending appeals. In Missouri, same-sex couples can marry in St. Louis and Kansas City only
John County, Kansas and Douglas County kansas have also permitted same sex couples to marry.
Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt continues to challenge lower Kansas court rulings dismissing the state’s ban on same sex marriage

Missouri Joins 29 Other States Asking for SCOTUS gay Marriage Opinion
September 5, 2014

(AP) – More than 30 states have filed briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage.

Massachusetts and 14 other states where same-sex marriage is legal filed a brief Thursday asking the justices to overturn other states’ bans on gay marriage.

Colorado and 16 other states that have banned same-sex marriage filed a separate brief asking the court to rule one way or the other to clear up a “morass” of lawsuits. Their brief doesn’t specifically ask the court to uphold their bans.

Massachusetts was joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

Colorado was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Nixon to Offer ‘Border War’ Solution in KC Speech
November 12, 2013

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is announcing a plan to end a business “border war” with Kansas over economic development.

Both states have used economic incentives and bonds to compete for businesses to locate or expand. Missouri and Kansas have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to the efforts.

Nixon planned to announce his proposal Tuesday in a speech to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He says it will promote growth in the Kansas City region.

Kansas lawmakers cut taxes in each of their past two sessions, at the urging of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Missouri’s Republican-dominated Legislature approved tax cuts this year largely in response to the Kansas cuts. But Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the measure, and an effort to override the veto fell short in September.

Impact of Gay Marriage Rulings in Missouri May be “Complex”
June 26, 2013

The Executive Director of the Missouri Gay Rights Group, PROMO, A.J. Bockelman, says understanding the Missouri impact of the US supreme Court rulings on same-sex couples may take a while.
“Understanding the impact on Missouri will take a bit of time, but rest assured, we will continue to fight for justice on behalf of the community in everything from basic protections to marriage rights,” Bockelman said in a news released within an hour of the supreme Court rulings.
The high Court struck down a section of the federal Defense of marriage Act (DOMA). That section banned same-sex couple from receiving federal benefits. That would include things like federal military benefits, Social Security benefits, tax filings hospital visitation rights and the like.
The Supreme Court also sent another gay rights case back to the california Court system.
California;’s ‘proposition 8’ banned same-sex marriages in that state.
Both Missouri and Kansas have provisions in their state constitutions that prohibit same-sex marriage.
PROMO, however, says same-sex couple who live in Missaouri, but were married in states where gay marriage is legal, getting to those benefits may be “complex”.
That’s becuase Missouri does not recognize sam-sex marriages, even if performed in a state where they are legal.

Jones Warns “Border War” Could Turn Into Rout Unless Missouri Acts
January 28, 2013

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon spoke of improving Missouri’s economy and business climate during Monday night’s State of the State Speech he did not mention the economic “Border War” in Kansas City.
The Missouri side of the metro has been battling the state of Kansas and a slew of Sunflower State economic enhancements aimed at luring business from Missouri across the state line to Kansas.
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, however, did bring it up during his response to Nixon’ speech.
Jones said Missouri has been on the losing end of what he called, “a prolonged and very successful effort to poach Missouri companies and Missouri jobs”.
Jones and several other Republican leaders made at least two trips to Kansas City after the November election to talk about the “Border War”, with business leaders and what could be done about it.
“And if we do not respond to these very real threats, the war could turn into a rout,” Jones warned in his speech..
Republicans are offering a series of tax reforms intended to keep and attract business.
“We must immediately review our tax code and enact fiscally-responsible policies that ensure we remain competitive with our neighboring states,” Jones said.