Barrier v. Vasterling
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.
Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Missouri, commented on the case today. He said: "Through recognition of marriage, Missouri supports a couple’s decision to establish a family, support one another and any children of the marriage. Because of the many benefits of marriage, Missouri has traditionally recognized lawful marriages performed in other states. We know that the people of Missouri are fair-minded and did not intend to harm these families, their children, and the other families like them throughout Missouri. But our current laws DO harm them."