Judge Strikes Down Missouri Same Sex Marriage Ban, AG to Appeal
November 5, 2014

(AP) – A state judge overturned Missouri’s constitutional ban on gay marriage Wednesday in a ruling that immediately set off a rush among some same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison said in a written ruling that Missouri’s measure recognizing marriage only between a man and woman violates the due process and equal protection rights of the U.S. Constitution. The decision mirrored ones handed down recently in several other states.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster immediately appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court, saying the constitutional challenge “must be presented to and resolved” at that level. But he said that his office wouldn’t seek a stay of the order, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant stays after same-sex marriage decisions in Idaho and Alaska.

Koster previously chose not to appeal a recent ruling requiring Missouri to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

After hearing about Wednesday’s ruling, Kelley Harris and Kelly Barnard drove immediately to St. Louis recorder of deed’s office at City Hall to apply for a marriage license. They called a photographer to record the event and planned to invite friends to attend an impromptu ceremony at a local park. The couple had held an unofficial wedding ceremony in 2003

Kansas Same Sex Couple Refused Marriage License Hours After SCOTUS Announcement
October 6, 2014

A same sex couple in Wichita were refused a marriage license Monday, hours after a surprise announcement from the US Supreme Court may clear the way for same sex marriages in Kansas, without notice, the High Court announced it would not take up the cases from Oklahoma and Utah trying to uphold those state’s bans against same sex marriage.
Kansas is in the same federal judicial circuit as those two states. Lower courts in the 10th Circuit have ruled those Oklahoma and Utah bans on same sex marriages unconstitutional
Since Kansas is in the same circuit, its constitutional ban against same sex marriages is affected by the Supreme court Decisions not to hear the cases from the same jurisdiction. The controlling Lowser courts have ruled those same sex bans unconstitutional so means other same sex marriage bans in the 10th circuit are unconstitutional.
Two other federal circuits are affected by the case, the 4th Circuit, which covers the mid-Atlantic states of the South . The other is the 7th Circuit of the Upper Midwest.
Missouri is not affected because is it part of the another judicial circuit, the 8th.
A Wichita couple, Kerry Wilks and donna DeTrani asked for a marriage license at the Sedgwick County Courthouse Monday afternoon.
Wilks says Sedgwick County judge James Fleetwood refused to issue one to them.
Wilks says the judge respectfully told them he was waiting for a “mandate” from the Court, according to Wilks.
The Kansas Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union believes the decision in Washington is profound.
“I think the writing is on the wall,” says Doug Bonney of the ACLU, “ same sex marriage is here.”
Bonney says the ACLU is now looking for a same sex couple to act as plaintiffs for a test case.
In Missouri, Attorney General Chris Koster announced, in light of the Supreme Court move, the state would not appeal a same sex ruling last week from a Kansas City judge.
The judge ruled Missouri, which also bans same sex marriages within the state, must recognize legally married same sex couples who’s marriages were performed in states where they are legal.

St. Louis Same Sex Marriage Challenge Goes to Court
September 29, 2014

(AP) – Missouri’s assistant attorney general has argued that state law, backed by the vote of the people, makes it clear that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

Jeremiah Morgan defended Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban Monday in a St. Louis courtroom. St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison is deciding whether the ban is constitutional.

St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert argued the state has no business treating gay and lesbian couples as “second-class citizens.”

The city of St. Louis issued marriage licenses in June to four same-sex couples, setting up a court fight over the state’s 2004 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

It isn’t clear when Burlison will issue a ruling. St. Louis officials have stopped issuing marriage licenses to gay couples until legal issues are resolved

Sanders Says County Wom’t Defend Same Sex Lawsuit, not County’s Law
June 30, 2014

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says the county will not spend money to defend a same sex lawsuit against its Recorder of Deeds.
Two same-sex couples are going to court saying they were denied the marriage licenses in Jackson County because Missouri’s constitution bans same-sex marriages..
“It’s not the county’s obligation to defend state statues,” Sanders said in an interview KMBC TV. Sanders called the suit a “direct challenge to the state of Missouri’s ban against same-sex marriage”.
Last week, the St. Louis office of the ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of two same-sex couples in Jackson County. Sanders says he agrees with the ACLU suit.
“To me it (the constitutional ban against same-sex marriage in Missouri) is clearly unconstitutional,” Sanders said
Last week, the city of St. Louis Recorder of Deeds defied the state ban, issuing marriage permits to four same sex couples there.
Sanders said the Jackson Co. Recorder of Deeds cannot recognize same sex marriages or issue license to a same sex couple.
Sanders says it is up to the Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, to defend a state law.
Monday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Koster’s office says they had nothing to say about Sanders’ decision.
In 2004, 71% of Missouri voters approved amending the state constitution to ban same sex marriage. Sanders, and other supporters of same sex marriages, say times have changed in the decade since then.
The County Executive says if Missourians were to vote again on the measure, the result might be a victory for same sex marriage in the state.
Sanders points to the eight states that have had their same-sex marriage bans struck down by the federal courts as proof of the shifting tide of the law.
Sanders, an attorney, says he hopes the US Supreme Court takes up one of the same sex challenges.
”This needs to go as quickly as possible to the Supreme Court to have this issue decided. Not just in Missouri, but around the country,” he said.

Marshall Wants Nixon Impeached over Same Sex Tax Return Order
November 18, 2013

Republican freshman State Representative Nick Marshall thinks Missouri Governor Jay Nixon should be impeaching for violating the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriages in Missouri.

“I am going to seek articles of impeachment,” Marshall said.

Marshall says this is not a gay rights issue.

He says Nixon’s order last week, permitting same sex couples married in other states to file joint returns on Missouri tax forms violating the 2004 constitutional amendment.

“Because what the Governor has ordered to do is against the Missouri Constitution and Missouri law,” Marshall said in an interview with KMBC TV Monday.

Marshall also says a lawsuit should be filed to seek an injunction against Nixon’s order.

Marshall says he’ll talk with members of the House Republican Caucus in December when they meet to organize for the 2014 session.

There was no response from Governor Nixon’s office.

No Missouri Governor has ever been impeached as removed from office, In fact, only eight US Governors have ever been removed from office by impeachment.

In 2009, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was the last Governor impeached and convicted. He is now serving federal prison time for public corruption while he was Illinois’ Chief Executive.

Marshall acknowledges his call for impeaching Nixon may be a long shot.

He said he can’t ignore the political realities of Jefferson City.

“I can’t do this alone,” Marshall said, “and so I’m going to have to talk to my caucus and see what the members of the caucus are willing to do regarding this”.