Governor Jay Nixon Signs Historic Legislation for Same-Sex Couples in Missouri.

At a press conference held at the Jackson County courthouse today, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed an executive order 15-04 directing all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions to ensure compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which established a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
“This ruling is good for families, it’s good for our communities, and it’s good for business too,” said Nixon. “As shown by the hundreds of companies including many in the state of Missouri who urged the court to legalize same-sex marriage to help them compete world-wide.”
When speaking on how the state has moved from voting to prohibit same-sex marriage by popular vote in 2004, Nixon said, “We’ve come a long way in a short time.” He attributed much of the change in opinion as a generational issue. “Younger folks not burdened with these prejudices have moved the needle forward.”
He also said the state’s announcement to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision “is grounded in respect and love.” Nixon went on to say he has been married for 28 years and would like to wish all same-sex couples in Missouri to enjoy the same happiness in their marriages as he has enjoyed in his.
Today’s executive order also rescinds Executive Order 13-14 which had directed the department of revenue to accept jointly-filed tax returns of same-sex couples married in other states and now living in Missouri.
PROMO, Missouri’s statewide organization advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality issued this statement about today’s Executive Order 15-04. “We are grateful for Gov. Nixon's leadership in recognizing the rights of LGBT Missourians and we look forward to working with him and his Administration to fully implement marriage equality across the state. The Supreme Court's landmark decision is a watershed moment for equality, but there is still much more work to do to, “ stated A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director for PROMO. “PROMO will continue to work with Governor Nixon and the legislature to adopt nondiscrimination policies, ensure that our transgender friends and family have access to the services they need, and prioritize additional community needs.”
Nixon said that the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges will hopefully also make it easier to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act protecting LGBT citizens in employment, housing and public accommodations.
The room was full of local LGBT leaders, local and state politicians and community members. A local minister, Reverend Leroy Glover, spoke to the governor and said that “religious people do not hate gay people, but we honor God,” when stating that many in his community do not support same-sex marriage.
Rev. Glover said he assumed that there were many same-sex couples or LGBT people in the room and went on to say. “People of faith do not hate you. It’s not about hate at all. It’s got nothing to do with it. But we do honor our God and we honor his word. It’s as simple as that. We love you, but we fear him. We love you but we love God more.”
Nixon replied, “This is about state government making sure that people’s rights are protected. It is not designed to affect people’s freedom of religion.”

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