US: Missouri same-sex marriage ban case due back in court

A lawuit challenging the US state of Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage is set to resume on Monday.

An attorney acting on behalf of the couples argued that the state already recognises out-of-state marriages between opposite sex couples, even if they are too young to get married in Missouri, but that it will not recognise same-sex marriages.

Missouri citizens in 2004 voted to define marriage specifically as between one man and one woman.

Attorney General Chris Koster said he personally supports same-sex marriage, but that he is legally obliged to oppose efforts to legalise it.

Tara Kelly, an attorney acting on behalf of Kansas City, which is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said the ban restricted the treatment of same-sex couples “in one very limited way”, and that it is “required by state law”.

Judge Dale Youngs said he would make his decision quickly, and said: “By no means will anything I say be the last word,” noting that higher courts are likely to be appealed.

“All the issues in the case have been extraordinarily well argued, and today is no exception. My job is to get everybody down the road,” Youngs continued.

A rally took place in favour of same-sex marriage outside the courthouse last week.

A ruling isn’t expected as soon as Monday.