The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed a lawsuit Feb. 25 on behalf of a Second Amendment advocate whose free speech rights were violated. Last July, Jordan Klaffer was forced to remove social media postings criticizing a police officer in southeast Missouri.
Klaffer is a gun owner who frequently fires his gun at objects on private property. On May 1, 2013, Jerry Bledsoe, a police officer, confronted Klaffer while responding to a noise complaint. Klaffer videotaped the interaction, where Bledsoe issued an ultimatum to Klaffer to surrender his guns or be arrested. Klaffer refused to give up his guns and was arrested for disturbing the peace.
On Feb. 12, eight Missouri couples from across the state have filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Missouri’s laws denying legal recognition of their marriages. The eight couples, some together for more than 30 years, and several raising children, are excluded from most state and some federal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.
“Because of the many benefits of marriage, Missouri has traditionally recognized lawful marriages performed in other states,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. “We know that the people of Missouri are fair-minded and did not intend to harm these eight families and others like them throughout Missouri. But our current laws do harm them.”
The plaintiff couples are: