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Missouri governor supports repealing state’s same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, February 13, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that he supports ending Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban and thinks voters should have a chance to repeal an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.)

Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.)

In 2004, Missouri became the first state to enact a constitutional prohibition on gay weddings after the Massachusetts high court permitted gay marriage there. The measure was approved by 70 percent of the state’s voters.

“I hope the voters will have a chance to revisit that issue,” said Nixon, a Democrat. “If it appeared on the ballot again, I would vote to allow same-sex marriage.”

Nixon’s announcement comes one day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to recognize the out-of-state marriages of several same-sex couples. But the governor said a vote was the appropriate way to change the state’s marriage laws, not a lawsuit.

“My personal belief is that we shouldn’t treat folks differently because of who t hey are and who they love. If folks want to get married, they should be able to get married,” Nixon said.

The move is the latest action by Nixon to call for expanded protections for the gay community. Last month, he asked lawmakers to pass legislation that would bar discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation. He also directed state tax officials last year to accept joint returns from gay couples legally married in other states.

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Both of those moves have been criticized by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature. Senate Republicans said they had no plans to bring the discrimination measure to the floor.

“I’m not sure I’m ready for that,” said Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, of Joplin. “It has nothing to do with sexuality. I’m just not sure I’m ready to put it in firm law yet.”

Nixon’s directive to accept joint tax returns from gay couples caused a state House member to file articles of impeachment against the governor. Nixon called the move a “publicity stunt” on Thursday.

Same-sex marriages can currently be performed in 17 states.

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47 more reader comments:

  1. <3

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:06pm
  2. So much better than Oklahoma’s Mary FAILING

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:07pm
  3. Yes please!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:07pm
  4. I never thought I would hear this coming from a state that is on the bible belt! Yay!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:07pm
  5. I was thinking the same thing and then I remembered that he is a Democrat, he is also in his last term. But still, supporting same sex marriage is very bold for Mo.

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:50am
  6. Good point Julia. I didn't realize he is a Democrat. I would definitely agree, it is a very bold move for him, the Democratic party, and MO.

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 6:59am
  7. Does this mean quick approval of EQUAL marriage?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:08pm
  8. It will help. Both Nevada and Virginia have chosen to not defend their bans in court, and VA's has been ruled unconstitutional just this week. NV's likely will fall too. Missouri could be next!

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 10:06am
  9. How about Indiana's BS?

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:10pm
  10. Civil rights should NEVER be put up to vote! Kudos to him for wanting to end the ban, but at least have the balls to do it without a vote!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:08pm
  11. I really hope that Missourians will help pass this. I love the page that i run. But it’s really getting to the point where I am just ready to ot have to fight for my rights.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:09pm
  12. Yes, thank you!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:10pm
  13. awesome!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:11pm
  14. So much better than the asinine behavior of their neighbors to the West, Kansas and Oklahoma.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:13pm
  15. A Govenor with a conscience.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:19pm
  16. That’s Fantastic!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:26pm
  17. amazing, a Governor with a BRAIN

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:27pm
  18. The state will go blue again in 2016 if Hillary is on the ticket.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:27pm
  19. Good guy Gov. Nixon!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:31pm
  20. Yay Missouri!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:44pm
  21. Another awesome governor on the right side of history! :)

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:00pm
  22. Great to hear!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:14pm
  23. Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:26pm
  24. VERY NICE!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:34pm
  25. Finally a state that is def in the Bible’s Belt is coming to its senses, cant wait for the rest to do the same ! Yay !

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:44pm
  26. Good for Gov. Nixon – he supports equality for all.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:46pm
  27. Let’s go MO! We were the first to have a ban, let’s be one of the first 20 to get rid of it!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:55pm
  28. Less talky talk, more worky work.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:15am
  29. One of the many many reasons to vote straight line Democrat, and given the Republicans’ redistricting and various voter suppression tactics, make sure your vote is counted!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:57am
  30. Derick Templeton :)

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:58am
  31. He’s a keeper. Who does he want to replace him.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 1:54am
  32. Hey, any state that can give us Brad Pitt is capable of wondrous things!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:12am
  33. Mikeal Kay Loneman

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:22am
  34. Amen gov Nixon

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:48am
  35. I love Jay Nixon!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:53am
  36. Sadly our governor is in his late term. He has great record on equality and common sense which is not common with a lot of the elected officials in red states.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:33am
  37. Alyssa Volkmann

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:15am
  38. Wow! I’m actually kinda’ happy Nixon is supporting us! :D

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:52am
  39. Oh my fucking god!!!! this is amazing!!!! everyone now: Amazinnnnnnnnnnnnnng Grace………….!”

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 5:13am
  40. Hey Jay! Can you speak some sense into Brownback on this side of the border? Please?

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 5:14am
  41. way to go, jay. brownback better be taking notes. kansas is way behind.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 6:53am
  42. I appreciate him and his support. I think his heart is in the right place, but he is WRONG about this! Civil rights are civil rights! They should NEVER EVER EVER be put to a vote. A lawsuit is absolutely the correct way to overturn the ban.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 7:45am
  43. I commend the governor for standing his ground and being on the side of equality. Keep fighting against discrimination.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 9:35am
  44. Taking the misery out of Missouri, one step at a time.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 10:04am
  45. Hey. Talk to your neighbor in Brownbackistan Kansas !

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:08pm
  46. GOOD FOR YOU!!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:10pm
  47. go for it governor !

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:17pm