Missouri Attorney General: MO will not appeal marriage respect ruling

Today, October 6, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that he would not appeal Missouri’s October 3rd ruling in favor of the freedom to marry. This decision came just hours after the Supreme Court announced that it would not review the five marriage cases before it, in effect establishing the freedom to marry in eleven states.

Attorney General Koster said:

The circuit court’s judgment in Barrier v. Vasterling held that Missouri must recognize marriages lawfully entered into in other states. We will not appeal that judgment. Our national government is founded upon principles of federalism – a system that empowers Missouri to set policy for itself, but also obligates us to honor contracts entered into in other states.

A consequence of this morning’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court is that gay marriage will soon be legal in as many as 30 states. At a time when Missouri is competing to attract the nation’s premier businesses and most talented employees, we should not demand that certain individuals surrender their marriage licenses in order to live and work among us.

Missouri’s future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion.

The ruling was in Barrier v. Vasterling, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and PROMO, a statewide organization committed to working toward equality for LGBT Missourians. The case involved eight married same-sex couples seeking respect for their marriage where they live, in Missouri. One of the couples, Zuleyma and Arlene, have been together for more than 30 years.

Koster is the 11th Attorney General in 10 states to refuse to defend marriage discrimination, following similar moves from the Attorneys General in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky, and North Carolina. In several other states, including Maryland, New York, and Arkansas, Attorneys General have voiced their support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

Read more about the ruling here.