New & Noteworthy:


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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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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Missouri will not appeal ruling that it recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

Monday, October 6, 2014
Attorney General Chris Koster (D-Mo.)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says he won't appeal a ruling that Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. [...]

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Judge rules Missouri must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

Friday, October 3, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states, a state judge ruled Friday, saying the state's constitution and laws banning the unions are unconstitutional. The order by Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs means that such couples will be eligible [...]

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St. Louis challenge to Mo. same-sex marriage ban in court

Monday, September 29, 2014
Four same-sex couples  who married in St. Louis, Mo., on June 25, 2014 are (from left): Bruce Yampolsky and Terry Garrett;  Karen “Mima” Davis and Miranda Duschack; Richard Eaton and John Durnell;  and Tod Martin and David Gray.
ST. LOUIS -- An assistant Missouri attorney general argued Monday in a St. Louis courtroom that state law, backed by a vote of the people, makes it clear that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. But St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert countered that the state [...]

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Marriage News Watch: Supreme Court to conference on same-sex marriage cases

Monday, September 29, 2014
This is the week when the U.S. Supreme Court meets to decide whether to take a marriage case. After meeting in conference on Monday, the Justices will announce their decision next week, on October 6th. Currently, cases from Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah and Oklahoma are ready for consideration. The court [...]

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Judge hears arguments in challenge to Missouri same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Same-sex couples, plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the state of Missouri, foreground, watch as Anthony Rothert, an attorney representing them, argues before Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs during a hearing on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri doesn't allow first cousins to legally marry, but recognizes such marriages if they were legally performed in other states. The same goes for couples who were too young to wed in Missouri but were allowed to do so elsewhere. An attorney for 10 same-sex couples [...]

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Oral arguments to begin in Missouri same-sex marriage challenge

Thursday, September 25, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City judge is scheduled to hear oral arguments Thursday in a case challenging Missouri's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court, filed by 10 same-sex couples who were legally married elsewhere, mirrors dozens of others [...]

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Marriage News Watch: More states waiting for Supreme Court on marriage rulings

Monday, September 22, 2014
Cynthia Wides, right, and Elizabeth Carey exchange wedding vows at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013.
A surprising reveal this week from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg about the court's plans for taking up a marriage case -- or maybe not taking up any. An Arkansas clerk breaks ranks with top state officials, declaring for the first time that the state's marriage ban is unconstitutional. [...]

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Attorney’s letter draws rebuke in Mo. fire department’s same-sex benefits debate

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Dee Wampler
OZARK, Mo. -- A prominent Springfield, Mo., attorney has penned a letter praising a local fire department for denying health benefits to a gay firefighter's wife, saying he is tired of attempts "to cram homosexuality and lesbians down our throats." Dee Wampler sent the letter to several individuals regarding the [...]

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