Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs entered an order this week requiring Missouri officials to recognize “same-sex marriages” entered lawfully in other states. In the order, Judge Youngs ruled that Missouri law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is unconstitutional to the extent that it denies recognition to legal out-of-state unions.
The decision strikes a significant blow to the 2004 Missouri constitutional provision approved by voters by 71%, which states that for purposes of Missouri law, marriage is the union on one man and one woman only. The MCC testified in favor of getting the Constitutional amendment on the ballot, and rallied support for the measure prior to the 2004 election. While the ban remains in place in Missouri, its long-term viability is questionable.