Two gay couples on Tuesday filed a
challenge to Missouri's ban on gay marriage.
Kyle Lawson and Evan Dahlgren and
Angela Curtis and Shannon McGinty were denied marriage licenses in
The couples are represented by the
Missouri chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whose
lawyers argue that the ban violates the equal protection and due
process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“This discriminatory treatment is
subject to heightened scrutiny because it burdens the fundamental
right to marry and because it discriminates based on sex and sexual
orientation,” the lawsuit states. “But it cannot stand under any
level of scrutiny because defendant's refusal to issue marriage
licenses to same-sex couples does not rationally further any
legitimate government interest. It serves only to disparage and
injure same-sex couples and their families.”
“We think it's unconstitutional,”
ACLU attorney Tony
Rothert told the AP, “and it's time to be challenged in a
St. Louis officials on Wednesday issued
marriage licenses to four gay couples. The following day, Missouri
Attorney General Chris Koster sued the city, though he said he
personally supports marriage equality.
Louis marries four gay couples to “force the issue” of marriage
Missouri voters in 2004 overwhelmingly
(70%) approved the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage
as a heterosexual union.