KANSAS CITY — A circuit court judge in Missouri has ruled that officials must recognize same-sex ‘marriages’ from other states, striking down part of a voter-approved amendment recognizing marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.
In 2014, 20 homosexuals who tied the knot in other states sued the Missouri government for not recognizing their relationships as a marriage. Barrier v. Vasterling asserted that the prohibition “serves only to disparage and injure same-sex couples and their families.”
Ten years ago, 71 percent of voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution, which reads, “That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.”
Oral argument was heard in the case last week, and on Friday, Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, declaring the state’s recognition of only male-female nuptials as a marriage to be unconstitutional.
“While having a standardized definition of marriage that promotes ‘consistency, uniformity and predictability’ may be a legitimate governmental interest,” he wrote, “there is no logical relationship between that interest and laws that discriminate against gay men and lesbians who have been married in jurisdictions in which same-sex marriages are legal.”
“Missouri has made the choice to regulate and in some cases, prohibit outright, the ability of certain couples to get married here,” Youngs also opined. “By singling out plaintiffs’ marriages for different treatment, the State defendants are singling out plaintiffs themselves and are doing so because of a characteristic that distinguishes them from other people: their sexual orientation.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) praised the decision following its release.
“We’re gratified that the court recognized that married same-sex couples and their families are no different than other couples, and that the Constitution requires them to be treated equally,” ACLU attorney Tony Rothert stated. “This is not the first court to reach this conclusion, but it is the first court to do so in Missouri, so it’s a tremendous day for our state.”
“The Bible speaks very clearly against homosexuality,” Randall Moody, senior pastor of Wilson Creek Baptist Church in Battlefield, Missouri, told Christian News Network in 212. “[At our church], we just go back to the Bible, and we see that in the beginning, God created Adam and Eve, and it was not good for man to be alone.”
He also pointed to God’s law in Leviticus 18:22, which prohibits men from initiating sexual relations with other men.
“That was never God’s intention,” he advised. “The Bible says, “Does not nature itself teach you?”
He stated, however, that homosexuality is just as much of a sin as any sin.
“Two people living together outside of marriage is the same sin,” Moody said. “Just as if a man cheats on his wife.”