Missouri’s Attorney General has said he will not appeal a circuit court ruling that the state must recognize same-sex marriages that have been legally performed outside of Missouri.
Koster released a statement this afternoon saying Missouri must honor contracts entered into in other states, as the court ruled.
He also cited the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to decline to hear appeals filed by several other states seeking to uphold their own bans on same-sex marriage. That decision clears the way for gay marriage to be legal in as many as 30 states.
Koster says that would put Missouri at a disadvantage.
“At a time when Missouri is competing to attract the nation’s premier businesses and most talented employees,” writes Koster, “we should not demand that certain individuals surrender their marriage licenses in order to live and work among us.”
Koster, who has previously said he would vote to repeal Missouri’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, adds in his statement, “Missouri’s future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion.”
Koster declined Missourinet’s request for an interview about the decision.
ACLU legal director Tony Rothert, who argued the case of ten same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit seeking to have their marriages in other states recognized in Missouri, released a statement of his own.
“As the Attorney General has recognized, our constitution obligates Missouri to recognize marriages from other states, as our state has historically done. Now more than half of the states will not exclude gay men and lesbians from marriage. We look forward to the day that Missouri will join the majority soon. In the meantime, we are thrilled that Missouri will no longer single out gay men and lesbians for discrimination by refusing to recognize their marriages.”