State officials offer statements on gay marriage ban lift
COLUMBIA - A St. Louis judge ruled on Wednesday, Nov. 5 that Missouri's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster issued the following statement regarding the ruling:
"The circuit court of the City of St. Louis today ruled that Missouri's ban against same-sex marriage violates the equal protection and due process guarantees of the United States Constitution.
We have appealed the ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court. The constitutional challenge to Missouri's historically recognized right to define marriage must be presented to and resolved by the state's highest court.
Following decisions in Idaho and Alaska, the United States Supreme Court has refused to grant stays on identical facts. We will not seek a stay of this court's order when the United States Supreme Court has ruled none should be granted."
State Representative Mike Colona (D- St. Louis) issued the following statement:
"The barriers to marriage equality continue fall with today's judicial ruling that Missouri cannot deprive gay couples of the fundamental right to marry. Extending the benefits and obligations of marriage to all committed couples will strengthen both the institution of marriage and our society."
Jackson County Counselor Stephen Nixon issued the following statement:
"Judge Burlison, a Missouri State Court Circuit Judge in St. Louis City, issued a Judgment today, declaring that the Recorder of Deeds and Vital Records Registrar of the City of St. Louis, has the authority to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Judge Burlison's Judgment is limited to St. Louis City.
In Jackson County the issue of whether or not the Recorder of Deeds of Jackson County can issue a marriage license to same sex couples is the issue in Lawson v Kelly, a case pending in the United States District Court of Western Missouri.
Jackson County is waiting for the Judge's ruling in this case which will determine the authority of the Recorder of Deeds of Jackson County to issue a marriage license to same sex couples. We are looking forward to that guidance and will implement the directive of the Court promptly."