On Feb. 26, United States District Judge Brian C. Wimes ordered that any person 18 years of age or older, who is unable to physically travel to a Missouri Recorder of Deeds office because of military service, disability or imprisonment can now obtain a marriage license. This action removes an artificial barrier in a Missouri statute that required both parties appear before a recorder of deeds to obtain a marriage license.
After several couples were unable to obtain marriage licenses because one partner could not appear in person, the ACLU sued four individual recorders and won. But, recorders in Missouri’s other counties still would not issue marriage licenses, so when Heidi Kennard was denied a license in Callaway County because her fiancé was incarcerated, the ACLU of Missouri decided to file a class action lawsuit against all Missouri recorders of deeds to protect the right to marry for everyone who cannot appear before a recorder in person.
Blog post by Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Missouri
On Monday, Alabama beat Missouri to become the 37th state with the freedom to marry.
Sure, Alabama leap-frogged Missouri down the aisle, but our marriage victories are bringing us ever closer to the day when gay and lesbian couples throughout the entire state of Missouri will be able to marry.