The health of the people should be the supreme law
November 5, 2014 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Missouri state court judge Rex M. Burlison has ruled that Missouri cannot keep St. Louis officials from marrying same sex couples.

Previously, via Freedom to Marry:

On October 3, Missouri Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs ruled that marriages between same-sex couples legally performed in other states must be respected in Missouri. On October 6, the Missouri Attorney General announced that the state would not appeal the ruling.

State activists are working toward fairness for all of Missouri's families by overturning a constitutional amendment that prohibits the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in the state.

In February 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union and PROMO filed a lawsuit, Barrier v. Vasterling, in state court seeking legal respect for same-sex couples who married in other states. Two other lawsuits seek the freedom to marry in Missouri. Read more about marriage litigation in Missouri.

There is no stay in the decision.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (18 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I guess it's a good sign that my reaction to these stories is now more like "Oh, yeah, another one, good" instead of feeling like it's a big deal.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:07 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Boo, Missouri, boo. You suck.

And Yay! to Judge Rex Burlinson and St. Louis - you cats rock!
posted by marienbad at 2:10 PM on November 5, 2014

People getting married.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:13 PM on November 5, 2014

Wait, what does this mean exactly? Does it apply only to St. Louis? Or the whole state?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:14 PM on November 5, 2014

Joakim Ziegler, it applies to St. Louis specifically, but I just read on Twitter that St. Louis COUNTY will also abide by this ruling.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:15 PM on November 5, 2014

Updated: this link says ALL MO can get married in St. Louis County.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:20 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

So for a little bit more back story, back in June, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay issued marriage licenses to four same sex couples.

At the time he said, "St. Louis is a city that doesn't tolerate discrimination." The Recorder of Deeds, Sharon Carpenter, also backed the move and tweeted about it.

The Attorney General of Missouri, Christ Koster, stated that despite the fact that he held marriage equality as a vital right, he was required to enforce the law of Missouri and sought a temporary restraining order in response to the marriages.

The scuttlebutt around City Hall is that Slay had planned this move to push Missouri and St. Louis into the marriage equality debate for over a year or so. There have been mentions that he did so to make St. Louis a more attractive city for folks to live. Personally, I don't care if it's a political move to garner favor with more left leaning St. Louisians, I think it's pretty bold and a good thing.

Now if he can do something about the schools and the institutional racism, it'll be a fabulous place.
posted by teleri025 at 2:33 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Duffington at 2:42 PM on November 5, 2014


Mo' M in MO for mo's!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:13 PM on November 5, 2014

At the time he said it, Chris Koster was right. Missouri law forbade it and federal law had not yet trumped, and Missouri is in the 8th Circuit, which has yet to have any rulings on this.

Now? With all the circuits ruling "Fuck you, haters", and SCOTUS not accepting cases? Now district judges are saying "it's over"

And, for my gay friends in STL? BETTER INVITE ME!!! :-)
posted by eriko at 6:20 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is there any reason why this ruling doesn't force all of Missouri to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses? It's a state court, why the ruling only apply to one county?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:47 PM on November 5, 2014

When I read this last night, I wondered, "Huh, wonder if Jen and Rachel down the street are going to get married now."

This morning, their smiling faces were the first photo in the twitter feed.

posted by notsnot at 11:31 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

What does this have to do with health?
Anyway, here's something I always wonder about: The happiness of the people already is the supreme law, isn't it? We often hear about the amendments to the constitution, but what about the actual Bill of Rights? Shouldn't our right to pursue happiness have the force of law? If so, one should be able to marry whom one likes, get high if one chooses, and otherwise pursue happiness, as long as they're not interfering with anyone else's. But you never seem to hear of the Bill of Rights being used in court. Why is that?
posted by sudon't at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2014

sudon't, I just used Missouri's state motto as the title of the post.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:34 PM on November 6, 2014

sudon't, I just used Missouri's state motto as the title of the post.

No you didn't.
You used Salus populi suprema lex esto. And just because it's on the state seal means nothing.
Missourians, and I am one, are too dumb to know that.
If asked what the state motto is, Missourians answer would be "The Show-Me State", as in:
"Hey Fred, I caught a fish this big!" (holds arms out wide)
Fred to Tom "Oh Yeah! Show me!"

Nobody in Missouri believes anything anybody tells them.
That is a blessing and a curse.
Just another example of intellectuals using the internet to find facts that nobody knew.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 6:32 PM on November 6, 2014

According to the Secretary of State for Missouri, that is actually and officially MO's motto.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:39 AM on November 7, 2014

But you never seem to hear of the Bill of Rights being used in court. Why is that?

Because lawyers and judges refer to the specific amendment within the Bill of Rights by number? E.g., the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment.

But "the pursuit of happiness" isn't in the Bill of Rights. It's in the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps you were thinking of that? The Declaration of Independence does not have the force of law.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:52 PM on November 7, 2014

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