State lawmakers have found that there is nothing they can do to fight to uphold Missouri’s prohibition of same-sex marriage, but the Speaker of the House tells Missourinet the issue might not be settled.
Attorney General Chris Koster announced October 6 he would not challenge the ruling of a Kansas City judge that would mean Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Some Republican state lawmakers looked for ways they could step in and defend the state’s statutes and constitutional amendment against gay marriage, but House Speaker Tim Jones says they found none.
“House research and our House counsel’s office looked into that issue,” says Jones. “They determined that there is no mechanism for this; a constitutional provision that allows the legislature to intervene.”
The judge’s order becomes final Monday, and ten days remain to file an appeal after that.
Jones thinks Missouri might not be done with the issue, however, and it could come up in the legislature next year.
“The senate leaders issued a very strong statement on this. I don’t know exactly where [Speaker-elect John] Diehl and the next [House] leadership team stand, but I can tell you I’ve heard from a lot of my caucus members. This is going to be a priority for them in 2015.”
Jones believes there are “a lot of possible remedies the General Assembly as a whole could pursue,” but doesn’t elaborate on what those are. He won’t be in the legislature after the end of this year, as he is term-limited from running again in the House.
Two more court challenges to Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban are awaiting rulings.