Eight gay couples suing Missouri over its ban on same-sex marriage
|By Doug Moore, St. Louis Post-Dispatch|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
All eight of the couples were wed in states or a country where same-sex marriage is legally recognized.
The expected legal action comes as similar battles are under way across the country. And it follows an executive order that
The civil rights organization is planning press conferences in
Two of the plaintiffs are
They were married in
"It's important that with the protections derived from marriage, we get those in the state we live and work," said Fitzwater, 43.
The lawsuit will be the first of its kind in
But it follows at least 50 other similar suits across the country where gay couples are fighting to get their relationships legally recognized.
"Opponents can't say federal courts are meddling in state affairs," Magarian said.
And going through the court system will be an easier route than trying to get the state's conservative legislators in
In a statewide referendum in
Last week, eight Republican state representatives led by
The sponsors of the bill admit it will likely go nowhere, but say it sends a message to Nixon that he is out of step with the rest of the state.
In June, the
Nixon said that he made his ruling because state tax law is linked to federal tax law. He stopped short of saying he supported same-sex marriage.
When the ban in
Although the move to legalize gay marriage across the U.S. is moving at a fast clip, it has met with resistance.
In December, a federal court ruled that
Those filing suit to have their marriages recognized in
When Schild, 60, got sick with cancer several years ago, she was unable to go onto Barrier's health insurance because the two were not recognized as legally married. As a result, the couple went through their life savings to pay for medical bills.
When Schild was in the hospital with pneumonia in the early 1990s, Barrier, 61, was asked by a nurse to leave when visiting hours ended. When Barrier relented, security was called and escorted her out.
The couple say they would like to live in a state that allows them guaranteed hospital visits, and assurances that they will be able to have unlimited access if one of them ends up in a nursing home.
"I love Janice, love her as much as the first day I set eyes on her," Schild said. "We've been caring for one another for 33 years. When we got married in
"But I'm very hopeful we will see that change come soon."
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