Missouri judge sides with married same-sex couples
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge has ruled that the state must recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states.
Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs ruled Friday that the Missouri Constitution and state laws banning same-sex marriage are invalid for unions legally performed in other states.
Youngs made the ruling in a lawsuit filed by 10 same-sex couples who were legally married in states. They argue that their right to equal protection and due process are being violated by the state's ban on gay marriage.
Young agreed, saying the couples deserve the same recognition as opposite-sex couples who were married in other states.
Lisa and JoDe Layton-Baker, a mid-Missouri couple involved in the lawsuit, gave this statement to KOMU 8 about the news:
"Today is an amazing day to be recognized as a legally married same sex couple in Missouri. When we got the news we were overcome with many emotions, we cried, we laughed, and then simply stood silently wrapped in each others arms taking it all in. Then we started sharing the news with our family and friends who have supported us through this journey and without them we could have never felt safe enough to come forward and share our story. We would like to extend our excitement and congratulations to so many other couples in the state of Missouri and promise to continue to push forward in the future until we all have equality."