One Equal World

Plans to Sue Missouri Over Gay Marriage

Posted on: February 20, 2014

Missouri

ACLU is suing Missouri over its gay marriage ban.
Image: Shutterstock

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans to sue Missouri this week for its ban of same-sex marriage. The litigation, which includes couples from Kansas City, St. Louis, mid-Missouri and Springfield, seeks to overturn Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The litigation, which will be filed in state court in Kansas City, comes less than a month after a federal judge struck down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Missouri voters approved the ban at 71 percent in 2004—the same year Oklahoma approved its ban. The bans are both amendments to the state constitutions. U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern in his decision said Oklahoma’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution. The ruling stated the amendment violated the equal-protection clause and called the ban “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.”

If there is a decision that finds Missouri’s ban unconstitutional it will likely anger state lawmakers such as house speaker Tim Jones, who opposes gay marriage. “My position is my position. I personally do not understand how marriage can be defined other than between a man and a woman. That is the definition of marriage. All these other things, I think they’re trying to call it something else and force it into the definition of marriage, which I think is an improper argument to even have, logically,” Jones said last year.

This past summer the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriage, invited several litigations attacking prohibitions on same-sex marriage.

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