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

quinn.anya on flickr
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.

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The GOP Legislator Who Helped Ban Same-Sex Marriage Supports Workplace Equality For Gays

Categories: LGBT

Missouri House
Republican State Representative Kevin Engler
For Missouri's LGBT population, the struggle to join the ranks of those protected from workplace discrimination -- like racial minorities, women, immigrants and the disabled -- is entering its fourteenth year.

But LGBT advocates say things have changed since 2001, when lawmakers first attempted to add sexual orientation to the state's Human Rights Act.

Nowhere is the shift on LGBT issues more evident than with Republican State Representative Kevin Engler, who sponsored the 2014 Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) in the House. He's the same legislator who sponsored the referendum to ban same-sex marriage in Missouri in 2004.

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State Rep. Mike Colona Seeks Repeal Of Missouri's Gay Marriage Ban

Categories: LGBT

State Rep. Mike Colona
Nearly a full decade after 71 percent of Missourians approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2004, an openly gay, Democratic state legislator wants to put the issue back before the people.

Yesterday, State Representative Mike Colona proposed a joint resolution to repeal the state's constitutional definition of marriage as existing only "between a man and a woman."

"I do think the time is right," Colona told Missourinet after yesterday's legislative session. However, with the General Assembly already halfway through its legislative calender, he conceded that there's virtually no chance the resolution will make it to voters this year.

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

stevendamron on flickr
"Here? Where it says 'wife?' Can we change that to 'spouse?'"
Gay couples may be constitutionally banned from marrying in Missouri, but this year, for the first time, LGBT people who marry in other states and pay taxes here are allowed to file jointly, like any other married couple.

Conservative, "pro-family" activists want to change that. They've tried lawsuits. They've tried impeaching the governor, who changed the rule in the first place.

Now, they're trying a restraining order.

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Chase Martinson Loses College Acceptance After Coming Out as Gay on Facebook

Categories: LGBT

Chase Martinson
Chase Martinson says he didn't get back into college because he came out as gay on Facebook.
When Chase Martinson took a break from his studies at Hannibal-LaGrange University to manage his health issues, he expected it to be temporary hiccup on his path to becoming a nurse.

But trying to get back into his degree program is proving to be much harder the second time around, and only one thing has changed: Martinson came out as gay on Facebook.

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Legal Loophole Could Void Illinois Same-Sex Marriages for Missouri Couples

Categories: LGBT

Missouri's constitutional ban could make same-sex marriages in Illinois a legal risk for St. Louis couples.
Ever since Illinois' attorney general told gay couples last week they could apply now for marriage licenses instead of waiting until June 1, things have been a little confusing.

Officials are deciding on a county-by-county basis whether their clerk's office is ready to take applications. Sometimes, the confusion is as simple as what to do for two brides when the application form asks for the name of the groom.

But even for Missouri couples who find a county that accepts marriage applications, getting married in Missouri could be a legal risk. The Illinois same-sex marriage law voids any marriages between people who live in a state, like Missouri, where the union is illegal.

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Same-Sex Marriage Comes Early to Illinois

Categories: LGBT

Purple Sherbet Photography
Same-sex couples can apply for marriage licenses months ahead of schedule.
Madison and St. Clair counties, both just across the river from St. Louis, are allowing same-sex couples to marry three months ahead of schedule.

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Sen. Wayne Wallingford Is Having A Really Hard Time Defending His Religious Freedom Bill

Sen. Wayne Wallingford
Last week, Republican state legislator Wayne Wallingford introduced his religious freedom bill to the Missouri Senate. We're willing to guess that he's starting to regret his timing.

That's because last Wednesday -- two days after his bill hit the Missouri Senate floor -- Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a similar, extremely controversial religious freedom bill in her own state; like Wallingford's, the Arizona law would have enabled businesses to refuse service to customers based on the business owner's religious beliefs.

Since then, Wallingford has struggled mightily to defend his bill, SB 916, from the same criticisms that tanked other religious freedom bills in Arizona in Kansas.

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Missouri Bill Would Allow Businesses To Refuse Service If "Substantially Motivated" By Religion

Categories: LGBT, News

Republican State Senator Wayne Wallingford supports discrimination as long as its religiously motivated.
A Republican state senator introduced a bill this week that could allow Missouri business owners to refuse service to customers if "substantially motivated by religious belief."

The bill was introduced Monday by Republican Wayne Wallingford. In 2013, the two-term Senator from Cape Girardeau joined Democratic lawmakers in an attempt to prohibit workplace discrimination based on gender and sexual identity.

But a year seems to have changed Wallingford: His newly-introduced bill seeks to broadly protect religious expression in Missouri -- even if that religious expression is of the "We don't serve your kind" variety.

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Banned from Communion at Mother's Funeral, Missouri Lesbian Couple Asks Pope for Help

Categories: LGBT

Courtesy of Carol Parker
Carol Parker and her partner Josephine Martin.
A 65-year-old woman says she's writing to Pope Francis for help after her priest banned her from taking Communion at her mother's funeral.

Carol Parker and her partner of twenty years, Josephine Martin, say that even after twelve years of attending Mass and taking Communion, it wasn't until their priest at the Saint Columban Catholic Church in Chillicothe saw Baker's mother's obituary that he banned them. The obituary mentions that Baker's mother is survived by a daughter and her daughter's partner.

"We were in the choir. We were lectors. Now, we don't have a church in town," Martin tells Daily RFT. "We were planning on being buried there with her, but I guess that's not going to happen now."

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