Missouri same-sex marriage may be law of the state in 2015

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

The family law question of whether same-sex couples can legally marry in the state of Missouri continues to evolve. At the present time, the state does not recognize same-sex marriages. The issue has become clouded based on the apparent willingness of the municipal government in St. Louis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and an ongoing lawsuit against the state by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to overturn the ban on same sex marriage.

The state of uncertainty has caused some same-sex couples to investigate the possibility of getting married in another state but continuing to live in Missouri. This has been a frequent source of legal issues in a nearby state, with different counties offering different advice. The general rule, however, appears to be that crossing a state line to get married to a same-sex partner will not result in the marriage being recognized in Missouri.

But according to one advocate for same-sex marriage, the prospect is growing more likely that — possibly before the end of next year — such same-sex unions will become legal in Missouri.

This could be the outcome of the ACLU lawsuit if it is successful. The city of St. Louis kicked off the legal proceedings to overturn the same-sex marriage ban in Missouri by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, much to the disproval of some lawmakers.

Another possibility is that Missouri voters may decide to overturn the same-sex marriage ban on their own. A ballot initiative with about 100,000 signatures is needed to bring the issue to a vote.

Nonetheless, at the moment, the law of Missouri makes it problematic for a same-sex couple to get married and to have that union recognized in this state.

Those who do not wish to await a litigation decision, and especially those who are pondering getting married in another state, would be well-advised to first consult with a family law attorney for advice before undertaking such a move.

Source: Springfield News-Leader, “Advocate: Gay marriage in MO ‘quite probable’ in year,” Jonathan Shorman, July 19, 2014

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