Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Probably Be Legal in Missouri By Next Year

Categories: LGBT

MirandaMima3.jpg
Mayor Slay's Office
Miranda Duschack and Mimo Davis are the first lesbian couple to be married in Missouri.
Arkansas. Florida. Oklahoma. Idaho.

Courts across the country are striking down bans against same-sex marriage so quickly that it's become a running gag in the Midtown offices of PROMO, a leading LBGT advocacy group in Missouri.

"Almost every Friday, we see something major moving forward -- another state, another decision comes down," says A.J. Bockelman, PROMO's executive director.

While his staff has been saying for months that Missouri's ten-year-old ban on gay marriage is on its last legs, Bockelman made waves around the state when he made his prediction in writing in an email to supporters.

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PROMO
A.J. Bockelman.
"It is entirely possible -- indeed it's quite probable -- that within the next year, we could see both nondiscrimination and marriage won on behalf of the LGBT community in Missouri," Bockelman writes. "As incredible as that may seem, and after working in this capacity for over seven years now, I couldn't be happier (and even a little bit eager, to be honest) to see that bright light at the end of a very long tunnel."

What makes Bockelman so optimistic? Three cases pending in Missouri courts could allow for a judge to rule that barring some couples from marriage is unconstitutional. Two same-sex couples are suing after Kansas City denied their applications for marriage. Also in Kansas City, the ACLU is suing for the recognition of marriages of eight same-sex couples married in other states.

See also: ACLU And Eight Gay Couples Sue Missouri Over Same-Sex Marriage Ban

And here in St. Louis, Attorney General Chris Koster is taking the recorder of deeds to court for signing four same-sex marriage licenses.

See also: Meet the First Four Gay Couples to Marry in St. Louis

Judges in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Pennsylvania overturned bans on same-sex marriage with their rulings, usually citing that equal protection under the law means everyone has the right to marry. Twelve more states have overturned gay-marriage bans, too, and are waiting for appeals to work their way through the courts.

And if a Missouri judge's ruling resembles recent rulings from other states, the Show-Me State's Constitutional ban on gay marriage could be struck down, Bockelman says.

"What we're seeing is the same thing is playing out across the country," Bockelman says. "Clearly, our side is winning this argument."

Even if local judges drag their feet on making rulings, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling could decide whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage as early as June. The court is expected to hear a case out of Utah after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld a ruling from a lower court judge overturning the state's ban on gay marriage.

"The feeling I get from national folks I work with as well as people who watch the courts system is that marriage is decided by the federal courts by next year for sure," Bockelman says. "The atmosphere is very much in our favor."

But the ruling won't come down quick enough for Bockelman, who married his partner in Illinois earlier this month. The men married on the Old Chain of Rocks bridge to be in Illinois, which allows same-sex marriage, and near Missouri, where they live.


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


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96 comments
Deb Woods
Deb Woods

What's changed is the media's manipulation and telling us how we must feel about this....very little has actually changed in MO besides THAT.

Tony Groeblinghoff
Tony Groeblinghoff

Ugh I know! And wait until people start marrying for money or to mend political ties or in exchange for a dozen goats!

Imran Hanafi
Imran Hanafi

Nice to see 'likes' out-number the ignorant comments. Get on the right side of history people.

Ben Watson
Ben Watson

I can't wait till incest is legal that is next

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

the majority of missouri is rural church loving people that dont have cable and they dont want to see this in public so i doubt missourians wil have this we were the last slave state..

richahunt
richahunt

To all of you who are opposed to Marriage Equality:  Please give us one VALID reason to oppose Marriage Equality that doesn't include religion, since not everyone believes in the same religion as you do, or procreation, since not all marriages produce offspring.  Infertile couples are allowed to be married, so are elderly people way beyond childbearing years.


While you are at it, please let us know how your life has been affected since the repeal of DOMA, and thousands upon thousands of same sex couples have been allowed to get married.

Josh Hall
Josh Hall

I was only quoting Dr. King when he said "“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Anyone has the right to quote powerful messages and meaning of the human struggle.. I attribute that to the present civil rights movement of the LGBT community... I believe Dr. King would have supported equality of the LGBT community as many civil rights leaders of the 60s have along with his wife Coretta Scott King who did support equality before her passing.. You really should educate yourself Joe!!!!

Joe Harman
Joe Harman

LOL... okay... Gay Rights = Black Rights?? Are you seriously even insinuating that they are the even remotely close? Dr. King was not and is not the spokes person for homosexuals “I am a boy,” an anonymous writer told King. “But I feel about boys the way I ought to feel about girls. I don't want my parents to know about me. What can I do?”.... MLK Writes : “The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired,” King wrote. “You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.”

Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson

I guess that is one way to avoid an argument, Damaris

Damaris Erinye Cain
Damaris Erinye Cain

I find you disgusting and against the overall opinion of the country. I want to vote on whether or not you get to stay you human waste of space.

Joe Harman
Joe Harman

This is not an issue of equality. A man or woman has the same equal rights as everyone else, marriage to someone of the opposite sex. The rights are exactly the same

Damaris Erinye Cain
Damaris Erinye Cain

Good. I'm glad you are afraid to say you are a homophobe in public. That means all the work I've done is making a difference. Thanks for making my entire day!

Damaris Erinye Cain
Damaris Erinye Cain

I'll debate that question with you all you want --- after I get my right to marry.

Joe Harman
Joe Harman

Marriage is between a man & woman, husband & wife, father & mother... It is that combination because they are naturally meant for each other.... If 2 people of the same sex want to form a similar union, then that is an adult choice and should be a civil union. A civil union should have the same applicable laws applied for tax benefits etc.

Josh Hall
Josh Hall

Whatever! Haters gonna hate! The future will show justice is on the side of equality as Dr King once said...

Dave Lipscomb
Dave Lipscomb

But they don't seek equal rights. They seek special rights as a protected class. That's the antithesis of equality.

Josh Hall
Josh Hall

Stephen, you are entitled to your opinion as am I although, I never voted against anyone's rights whereas I'm sure you voted for MO marriage amendment.. Regardless if you did or not I'm fairly certain in Sept when the case for same sex marriage is heard here it will be overturned along with every state since the Winsor case last yr as unconstitutional right for marriage.. I haven't always been please with pride parades but to elaborate on a previous comment you stated before about pushing it in your face.. Heterosexuals push their sexuality in everyone's face daily but bc your of the majority you don't see it.... If marriage wasn't legally related we wouldn't be seeking it.. Holy matrimony is the religious term for marriage but there are growing number of churches & places of faith that are becoming more accepting by the day... So even that is bc a lost cause.. Live & let live & understand that love is love & God loves everyone equally!

Stephen Mennemeyer
Stephen Mennemeyer

I think Dave Lipscomb put it best. Personally, I think gays should have their right to the same benefits as married couples. I just don't see how in the world is it possible for 2 gays to be legally married when it goes against the beliefs of what a marriage is. Or went homosexuals would even want to join in a union that is based primarily off of the same thing that is at the very heart of it against it. It confuses me.

Stephen Mennemeyer
Stephen Mennemeyer

Lmfao John. So what you your saying is, if I speak my mind and it's not the same as yours, then I'm an "asshole"? I'm not "evolved"? I'm too high and mighty to "get over myself"? But you are free to speak yours??? I am entitled to my opinion just as much as you are without being labeled in a derogatory way. Unless you want to be exactly what you are preaching against. I think homosexuality is disgusting. I believe it's physically and morally wrong. And I have just as much right to speak my opinion and believes as you. I'll tell you what has truly happened. We have become a society of wusses. Everyone is too afraid to say what is on their mind without being labeled as anti-whatever your cause is today. The and group of people that want to fight for freedom of (insert the cause of the moment here) are the same ones that bash you for speaking out against it. BTW I also spank my kid when it's deserved. That make me child beater? The only thing you have on your side is the media telling everyone this is OK. But it won't change how people really feel and what is really in thier heart. And it won't matter.

John Paul Wood
John Paul Wood

I'm straight, and I say more power to them! Anyone who has a problem with this really needs to get over themselves. The world has actual problems. This isn't one of them. Grow up.

John Paul Wood
John Paul Wood

Most people also use to support slavery, didn't make it right. People shouldn't have to miss out on their rights just because the rest of humanity chooses not to evolve. Grow up.

John Paul Wood
John Paul Wood

It's not wrong at all, because your opinion on someone else's life choice doesn't matter at all. Always good to know who the assholes are though.

Stephen Mennemeyer
Stephen Mennemeyer

How can something so disgusting and against the overall society opinion be right? Honestly I don't care what you do so long as you don't do it around me or my kids. I don't go around flaunting my sexuality in public, would be very nice if everyone had the same respect.

Josh Hall
Josh Hall

LOL... You can be as grossed out as you want.. that's ok but no ONE has the right to vote on ANYONE else's rights! Anti-gay marriage bans are on the way out and will soon be extinct! People under 30 have wide support for marriage equality and the future will show that equality is on the just and righteous side as America eventually gets things right!

buysellrepeat
buysellrepeat

AND SOON AFTER YOU WILL BE ABLE TO MARRY YOUR FAVORITE PET, OUR YOUR CAR OR TRUCK... 

Stephen Mennemeyer
Stephen Mennemeyer

Josh Hall..... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Josh Hall
Josh Hall

Just your opinion which you are entitled too but society is changing and the future along with the courts will show that marriage between 2 loving people is an American civil right!

Andrew James Wasson
Andrew James Wasson

Incest is a completely different ballgame. Those relationships have proven physiological issues because of similar genetics. As far as polygamy why not? Take religion out of it, why does it matter how consenting adults choose to define their relationship?

Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson

Well, don't they deserve the right to marry who they want? Or do you want to keep those people from expressing love and commitment through legal marriage?

Philip Weaver Ingram
Philip Weaver Ingram

Who people choose to marry is no one's business other than the two parties involved in the marriage which is essentially a legal contract -- one with a slim chance of proving mutually beneficial btw. Do business with whomever you like. Those opposed to it need to get over themselves, their fears and their ignorance. Get a grip. There are things that actually matter, with actual consequences going on all around you. Try putting as much energy into solving those real issues as you do into fighting this non-issue.

richahunt
richahunt

Nobody is saying that gay rights are the same as black rights.  What is the same is that both gay rights and black rights are HUMAN RIGHTS.

richahunt
richahunt

No, heterosexuals have the right to marry whomever they are attracted to. Homosexual only have the right to marry someone they are not attracted to.  Big difference.

ekisseloff
ekisseloff

Which basically treats humans in our country as "second class citizens".  You're white, you drink from this squeaky clean water fountain.  You're black, drink from this disgusting water fountain.

You're straight, go get married.  You're gay, you can have a civil union.  See the problem here????


And not all heterosexual marriages result in children.  Sometimes it's just husband and wife, or maybe male dog owner and female dog owner.  Not always Mom and Dad buddy.  The procreation argument is completely invalid.

richahunt
richahunt

Oh please tell us what "SPECIAL RIGHTS" are they seeking!

richahunt
richahunt

@buysellrepeat Can your favorite pet sign the papers to make a marriage legal?  Can your car or your truck?  Marriage is a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT between two consenting people.  

ekisseloff
ekisseloff

@richahunt Exactly.  And basically a gay person marrying someone of the opposite sex can legally nullify a marriage anyway.  Finding out that your spouse is gay is grounds for an annulment.  So no Joe, not the same thing.

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