US: Court fully strikes down Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban

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A court has struck down the remaining parts of Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage, which could allow weddings to start imminently.

Earlier this week, St Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison struck down part of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, allowing St Louis to begin issuing licenses.

However, other counties did not immediately begin same-sex weddings, after legal advice that the ruling only applied to St Louis.

Today, Judge Ortrie D Smith ruled in a separate case that same-sex couples should be able to marry anywhere in the state.

It is unclear whether couples are able to marry immediately, and whether the state’s Attorney General will allow the new ruling to stand.

ACLU Missouri legal director Tony Rothert said: “This is a historic day for same-sex couples, who have waited far too long to be able to marry in Missouri.

“It feels great for Missouri to join the mainstream by allowing loving couples to formalize their commitment with marriage.”

Jeffrey Mittman of ACLU Missouri said: “Today’s ruling affirms what the ACLU has always proclaimed—same-sex couples and their families should be treated just like any other loving family.

“Missouri will no longer categorically exclude gay men and lesbians from the institution of marriage—marriage is marriage, regardless of your sexual orientation.”