Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster supports marriage equality, but still upholds gay marriage ban

With the support of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, that city’s recorder of deeds issued marriage licenses to four gay couples on Wednesday, flouting state law in the process.

It’s a move built on the foundation of a strong-willed mayor whose conscience propelled him to host those marriages in his office in direct contravention of Missouri law. It was an act of civil disobedience.

The Show-Me State showed gay couples in 2004 that it didn’t think they should be allowed to marry when the voting public passed a constitutional amendment to codify laws against gay marriage.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster went to St. Louis Circuit Court on Thursday to stop the St. Louis recorder of deeds from issuing any more marriage licenses to gay couples, even though the Democrat supports same-sex marriage.

“While I personally support the goal of marriage equality, my duty as Attorney General is to defend the laws of the state of Missouri,” Koster said in a written statement Thursday. “While many people in Missouri have changed their minds regarding marriage equality, Missourians have yet to change their constitution.”

Court cases in Jefferson City and Kansas City also challenge the same-sex marriage ban.

“I have asked the St. Louis Circuit Court to prevent the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds from issuing such marriage licenses until this matter can be resolved by our state’s judiciary,” Koster added.

Same-sex marriage bans are collapsing all over the country, at least in federal courts. Utah was the latest state to have its same-sex marriage ban struck down by a federal appeals court this week. 

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