New & Noteworthy:

Missouri

Missouri is the 24th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Aug. 10, 1821. Its most populous city is Kansas City, its largest metropolitan area is St. Louis, and the state capitol is located in Jefferson City.

LGBT Rights in Missouri: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions was approved by voters in August 2004. Missouri law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Missouri’s hate crimes statutes explicitly address both sexual orientation and gender identity. Missouri has no laws limiting the rights of individuals to adopt children, and there are no explicit prohibitions against second-parent adoption.

Current challenge to Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban: Barrier v. Vasterling

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Homeless shelter in Kansas City won’t house married, same-sex couples

Monday, November 17, 2014
city-union-mission
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A nonprofit homeless shelter in Kansas City will not allow legally married same-sex couples to stay overnight together because officials believe those relationships violate biblical principles. Leaders of the City Union Mission in Kansas City debated the decision for three or four years... [...]

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Petitioners urge Missouri to not appeal same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, delivers signatures to the St. Louis office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in St. Louis. The signatures urge Koster not to appeal a recent decision by a federal judge that Missouri's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.
ST. LOUIS -- With the legality of gay marriage in Missouri in judicial limbo, more than 3,000 residents are asking the state to drop its appeal of a federal ruling that overturned its ban on same-sex unions. [...]

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Same-sex couples begin marrying in Kansas City, Missouri

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Vernon Scoville, officiates during Robert Gann, left, and John Kenny Rodricks, right, wedding at the Jackson County Courthouse Legislative Chambers, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. Scoville is retired associate circuit judge for Jackson County. Same-sex marriages began occurring Friday in the Kansas City area after a federal judge declared that Missouri's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than a dozen same-sex couples were married Friday in the Kansas City area after a federal judge declared that Missouri's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision, which follows a similar one earlier this week in St. Louis, means that same-sex marriage [...]

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Federal judge rules Missouri same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Friday, November 7, 2014
Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Officials in the Kansas City area said they will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Friday after a federal judge struck down Missouri's ban on gay marriage, marking the second such ruling in a week. U.S. District Judge Ortrie R. Smith ruled that Missouri's constitutional [...]

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Many Missouri counties not granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Many local officials across Missouri were declining to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples Thursday, saying a court ruling invalidating the state's gay marriage ban applies only to St. Louis. [...]

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Judge in St. Louis rules Missouri same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
April Dawn Breeden, left, places a ring on the finger of her long-time partner Crystal Peairs, right, as they are married by Rev. Katie Hotze-Wilton, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, at City Hall in St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- A judge in St. Louis on Wednesday ruled that Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, setting off a rush among some same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. [...]

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Southeast Missouri State University to extend benefits to same-sex spouses

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Southeast Missouri State University
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Same-sex spouses of employees and retirees at Southeast Missouri State University will now be eligible for university benefits. The Board of Regents of the Cape Girardeau school voted Monday to extend benefits immediately to spouses in same-sex couples who were legally married in another state. [...]

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Springfield, Missouri approves LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Springfield, Mo.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After years of debate, the Springfield City Council has approved a bill that expands the city's nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The council voted 6-3 Monday to pass the stronger of two proposed ordinances on the issue. The change, which prohibits [...]

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Missouri state workers’ health plan expanded to include same-sex spouses

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's health care and retirement plans are expanding coverage to same-sex spouses following a recent court ruling. The Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan says it will enroll same-sex spouses of state employees and retirees who have valid marriage licenses from other states. [...]

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Mo. Catholic bishop speaks out against Springfield non-discrimination ordinance

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Bishop James Johnston
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Missouri bishop said forcing people of faith to recognize same-sex relationships is a form of discrimination and violates their religious freedoms. Bishop James Johnston of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Catholic Diocese issued a letter opposing the proposed expansion of Springfield's nondiscrimination ordinance... [...]

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