Denying Missouri’s same-sex couples the opportunity to marry is unconstitutional, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled Wednesday. The move immediately prompted St. Louis to begin issuing marriage licenses, and St. Louis County said it would also abide by the ruling.
Burlison said the Missouri Constitution violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he appealed the ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court but had not asked for a stay.
Wednesday’s ruling follows after St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay married four same-sex couples at St. Louis City Hall in June despite a 10-year-old state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. After that, Koster filed an injunction preventing more marriage licenses from being issued to same-sex couples.