Lawson v. Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds
On November 7, U.S. District Court Judge Ortrie D. Smith ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in a federal case from Missouri, striking down the state's marriage ban and paving the way for the freedom to marry to begin in the Show Me State. The ruling is stayed until the judgment is final.
Shortly after the ruling, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said that he would appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
On June 24, 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a legal challenge in state court on behalf of two same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Missouri. The two couples are unmarried but wish to marry in Missouri. Several weeks later, the case was moved to federal court.
State of Missouri v. Jennifer Florida
On Nobember 5, a state judge ruled that banning same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional, and same-sex couples were immediately issued marriage licenses in some counties. The ruling has been appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.
On September 29, Missouri Circuit Judge Rex Burlison heard oral arguments in this state legal case filed by the state of Missouri in the summer of 2014 after then-Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples in Missouri. The case argued that the couples should not have been issued the marriage licenses.
Plaintiffs are now awaiting a ruling in the case.
Barrier v. Vasterling
The Path to Victory:
On October 3, Missouri Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs ruled that marriages between same-sex couples legally performed in other states must be respected in Missouri. On October 6, the Missouri Attorney General announced that the state would not appeal the ruling, meaning that the ruling will stand and the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states is in effect!
On February 12, 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union and PROMO, a state-wide LGBT organization in Missouri, filed a lawsuit in state court on behalf of 8 same-sex couples challenging state laws that deny legal respect to legally married same-sex couples. The eight couples have all married in states where same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.
One of the couples, St. Louis residents Julikka LaChe and Beth Drouant spoke about their fears of what would happen to them in a medical emergency since Missouri denies recognition for their marriage. "Even with the safety nets [of power of attorney and a living will], there's no guarantee," LaChe said, describing the patchwork legal strategy of accumulating legal documentation in lieu of a marriage certificate.
There was an oral argument on September 29 in Kansas City where same-sex couples made the case for marriage. The judge said that he would rule swiftly.