September 20, 2014

Study: ending gay marriage ban would be economic boost (AUDIO)

A study done at the UCLA law school says Missouri could get an economic boost if it lets some people get married.

UCLA’s Williams Institute figures legalizing same sex marriage in Missouri would add more than $36-million to the state’s economy in the next three years.  And 311-934 new jobs would be created.

The Institute’s Chief Counsel, Christy Malloy, says the figures are based on anticipated expenditures if  half of Missouri’s 10,557 same-sex couples get married.  Some couples already have gone to Iowa, where the marriages are recognized. But “a lot of people prefer to stay in their own state,” she says…

She also says Missouri could become a marriage magnet for same sex couples from the other six neighboring states where same sex marriage is not legal.

Seventy percent of Missouri voters approved a constitutional ban on same sex marriage ten years ago this year.  But two lawsuits challenging the ban have been filed in Kansas City and a third lawsuit in St. Louis also could produce a court ruling.  In addition, the U-S Supreme Court might rule  next year.

The Executive Director of the LGBT advocacy organization PROMO, A. J. Bockelman, has said in an email to supporters that, “It is entirely possible–indeed it’s quite probable–that within the next year, we could see both nondiscrimination and marriage won on behalf of the LGBT community in Missouri.”

The issue also is expected to be before the United States Supreme Court soon through a case from Utah..

AUDIO: Malloy interview 11:13

Missouri 7th in men killing women (AuDIO)

A new study says Missouri is one of the worst states for women being murdered by men.

The National Violence Policy Center has used FBI numbers for 2012 to compile its ratings. That’s the last year for which figures are available.  Missouri is seventh worst. Missouri has been in the bottom-ten for three of the last five years.

Legislative Director Kristen Rand says Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma,

South Carolina, and Alaska have worse records.

Average age of the women: 36, meaning, she says, they probably leave children behind.   Fifty-three percent were white; forty-one percent black.  Ninety-eight percent were killed by someone they knew, often when trying to break off an abusive relationship.

She says the state needs to have resources available to women teaching them how to get out of abusive relationships.

Rand says a woman who breaks off an abusive domestic situation is at greatest risk for a year after ending the relationship. She says the state also needs programs for removal of firearms from domestic abuse relationships. She says states like Missouri need to develop programs for men and women and look at the powers courts have in abusive situations.

AUDIO: Rand interview 12:16

Missouri Teacher of the Year has learning experience – in Ferguson (AUDIO)

Missouri’s Teacher of the Year has had some painful learning experiences of his own in recent weeks.

Hazelwood West High school teacher Chris Holmes helped develop a program that has helped at-risk students find the hope and confidence they need to graduate.  He sponsors a poetry club whose members engage in contests where they perform their own works.

But his main job is teaching journalism.  Last month he went to Ferguson to gather ideas for his class.  What he gathered on the first night of demonstrations and violence was a brick to the side of the head causing a wound that took six stitches to close.

He says a lot of people have asked how he thinks journalists have covered the Ferguson riots.  He says the coverage shows the difference between journalism theory and the reality of the business, which sometimes is ugly. “At the time they are reporting on the truth that they see, however skewed it may seem once other facts come out…It may not look pretty as it comes out but we need people to do that,” he says.

Holmes says it’s necessary to ask if some things in Ferguson coverage were necessary, excessive, or even journalism.  But he says his experience has given him a lot of material to discuss ethics, responsibility, and compassion in covering the news.

AUDIO: Holmes interview 24:32



Only seven years to plan a big state party (AUDIO)

Planning for a big birthday party takes some time. Planning for a 200th birthday party takes a lot of time. But organizers have only seven years to put the event together.
The state of Missouri turns 200 on August 10, 2021. The State Historical Society of Missouri has started holding focus groups throughout the state to get public suggestions for the best way to celebrate the Missouri Bicentennial.
Society past-President Doug Crews says the state’s diversity makes the planning a challenge. Diverse economy. Diverse politics. Diverse climate. Diverse geography. Diverse demographics. Crews says the event will be especially important to one group of Missourians. “If we reach children in the schools…we’ll reach the adults, too,” he says. “I think that needs to be a focus on everything we do.”
He hopes recalling the first 200 years of statehood will encourage Missourians to look toward what the state can be in its third century, saying, “It can sort of be the springboard…to the next 100 [and] to develop a real pride in Missouri; Missourians are very proud of our state…and I think we could build on that.”
The celebration actually could start as early as 2017, the first year Missouri applied for statehood. Congress didn’t approve, though, until four years later.

AUDIO: Crews interview 6:29

Nixon: not calling for McCulloch to step aside

Governor Nixon is calling for a “vigorous prosecution” of the Michael Brown shooting case. But he says he is not asking St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to step aside. A petition circulated after the Brown shooting has called for McCulloch to recuse himself. But Nixon says there is a “well-established” procedure for a prosecutor to take himself off the case and have a special prosecutor be appointed. He says legal uncertainty would be injected into the situation and the prosecution could be jeopardized if that procedure is ignored.

The statement:
“From the outset, I have been clear about the need to have a vigorous prosecution of this case, and that includes minimizing any potential legal uncertainty. I am not asking St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to recuse himself from this case. There is a well-established process by which a prosecutor can recuse themselves from a pending investigation, and a special prosecutor be appointed. Departing from this established process could unnecessarily inject legal uncertainty into this matter and potentially jeopardize the prosecution.”