Missouri

Missouri

Lawson v. Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds

What's Happening:

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 filed an appeal of the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.

In December, the plaintiffs in the case filed a motion to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals asking the Court to either vacate the stay from the lower court (allowing the freedom to marry to take effect statewide as the appeal proceeds) or expedite the appeal process. A ruling is still pending on that motion. 

Case Background:

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

What's Happening:

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. 

Case Background:

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.

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!

Case Background:

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. 

In re the Marriage of: M.S. v. D.S.

What's Happening:

On December 3, 2014, private lawyers filed this case on behalf of M.S., a man who was legally married to another man in Iowa in 2012. M.S. later filed a petition to dissolve the marriage in Missouri, but the court dismissed the petition. The case argues that his marriage should be respected in Missouri.

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