Twenty states and counting. Same-sex marriages are now recognized in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The most recent addition to this growing group is the state of Missouri.
Pursuant to a ruling issued earlier today by Jackson County Circuit, Judge J. Dale Youngs, the state of Missouri must recognize the marriages of same sex couples legally performed in other states.
The ruling was made in a lawsuit filed by 10 same-sex couples who were legally married in other states. The couples argued that Missouri’s refusal to recognized their marriage violated their equal protection and due process rights. Judge Youngs agreed that the ban served no legitimate government interest and Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages in the same manner that it recognizes the marriage of opposite-sex couples legally married in other states.
The ruling only requires that Missouri recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. It does not address laws that bar same-sex couples from getting married in Missouri.
This ruling will not be the last word on same-sex marriage in Missouri. The Missouri Attorney General has indicated that his office will be reviewing the ruling. In addition, several other cases challenging Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage remain outstanding.