Judge Rules Against Anti-Gay Marriage Effort in Legal Fight Over Missouri Taxes

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For now, at least, married gay couples in Missouri can pay joint taxes.
Ever since Governor Jay Nixon altered Missouri's tax code to allow legally married gay couples to file joint taxes -- a move that puts the state in line with federal rules -- anti-gay marriage advocates are pulling out every trick in the book to stop him.

First, they filed a lawsuit. Then Rep. Nick Marshall tried to impeach Nixon.

The final trick in the anti-gay marriage playbook was a restraining order from four of Missouri's most committed conservatives who say changing the tax rule is tantamount to legalizing gay marriage in the Show-Me State.

But a judge denied that restraining order Friday so that, barring any unexpected developments in the next eight days, gay couples legally married in other states can file taxes in Missouri jointly.

See also: Spouses v. Husband & Wife: Fight over Taxes for Married Gay Couples Heats Up

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem scheduled another hearing for the case in May, but for now, he ruled the restraining order did not establish that the petitioners would be irreparably harmed by the state accepting joint tax returns from married gay couples.

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"The ruling provides certainty to Missourians who are preparing to file their taxes before the April 15 deadline," says Nixon.

Gay rights advocacy groups reject the petitioners' assertion that joint tax filings from gay married couples cause harm to Missouri's families and finances.

See also: Missouri to Gays: You Can't Get Married Here, But We Will Take Your Tax Dollars

"Missourians are fair and reasonable people and never intended to cause the kind of harm families would experience if they could not file combined tax returns in their home state," said Tony Rothert, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. "We are gratified that the court's decision found that there is no harm to some Missourians when other married couples file a combined state income tax return."

The men who filed the motion for a temporary restraining order are: Kerry Messer, a lobbyist and the president of Missouri Family Network; Don Hinkle, the director of public policy for the Missouri Baptist Convention; Justin Mosher, chairman of the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention; and Joe Ortwerth, executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council.

Attorney Mike Whitehead, who represents the petitioners, said his clients were happy to move forward with the next hearing in the case, which is scheduled for next month.

"We are glad the judge set a May 2 date to schedule these next steps as soon as possible," Whitehead told the Associated Press. "It is the final judgment that is important."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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12 comments
AJ Wilkes
AJ Wilkes

DOMA was overturned due to taxes. In fact the cases of couples being unable to file jointly in same-sex marriage banned states will have easy cases to file.

Jessica Mowry
Jessica Mowry

eventually the bigger question is if I will ever see it.

Kari A. Holthaus
Kari A. Holthaus

So are you saying an infertile couple cannot be "married" based on your breeding logic? #wierdo Bob?

Nathan Cromwell
Nathan Cromwell

Wesley is bullying and what he says it's against the law and Punishable

Bob Stclair
Bob Stclair

Wessssley the truth hurts ? An you understood what I was typing . Now didn't you ! An I didn't call you name's . Like gay . Even tho it looks like you seen 1 or 2 up REAL close ! An really the necker chifs say it all ! WELCOME TO FREEDOM OF SPEACH !

Wesley Jennings Hastings
Wesley Jennings Hastings

Bob, Go find the nearest train tracks, lay down across them, and don't get up. Also, while you're waiting for that train to come, do us all another favor and learn how to write a proper sentence before you ever attempt to criticize another human being. Sincerely, The Rest of the Mentally-Sound World

Bob Stclair
Bob Stclair

Can they biologically have a kid or try ? No ! Then it's not a marriage ! For thousands of year's a marriage is MAN AN WOMAN !!!! I don't go yelling one day I'm black because I want something or I'm Jewish !! So this is the life style you want ... .fine ! We Christians had enough ! It's called a civil union ! So you can see each other in the hospital ! Until you have a anal baby ??? It's not a marriage ! But I could be wrong ? Just look here you are . A walking talking a $$ hole for trying to change a word after thousands of year's !

Mark Winchester
Mark Winchester

Gay couples filing joint tax returns dont hurt Missouri families and finances. TAXES hurt Missouri families and finances.

jay1963
jay1963

What is the rationale that can claim "harm" in any way from allowing same-sex couples to file joint returns -- let alone extending full marriage benefits to them? Do the petitioners of this suit believe that fire and brimstone will fall on the state if the benefit goes forward?

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