Attorney General Jay Nixon says Governor Holden has acted well within his authority by calling for the ban on same-sex marriage to be decided by voters in August. Nixon has filed suit in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City against Secretary of State Matt Blunt, asking the court to order Blunt to follow the governor’s direction and place the issue on the August ballot. Nixon dismisses arguments by legislative leaders that the governor can’t act, because they haven’t signed the resolution. Nixon points out the measure approved by the legislature was a joint resolution, not a bill. The Attorney General says it is not necessary for a resolution to receive the signatures of the Senate President Pro Tem and the Speaker of the House to be final. Nixon says he is seeking legal certainty so that the issue can find a place on a ballot and Missourians can decide it. Republican lawmakers want the issue to be on the November ballot. They contend Holden acted improperly, because they haven’t delivered the signed resolution to the Secretary of State. Voters will ask to make current state law, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, part of the state constitution.
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