The state Supreme Court is being asked to tell lower courts in Missouri it’s okay to grant divorces in same-sex marriages recognized in other states.
A man who was married in Iowa to another man filed in St. Louis for a divorce. The court in St. Louis dismissed the case saying it doesn’t have the authority to grant such a divorce because that would amount to recognizing the couple’s marriage, in spite of Missouri’s constitutional amendment and laws against recognizing same-sex marriage.
The man’s attorney, Drey Cooley, wants the Supreme Court to tell the lower court it doesn’t have to recognize a same-sex marriage in order to grant a request for divorce.
“All they need, with respect to these circumstances, because people aren’t getting married here but essentially people are moving here from other states that did allow it, is simply to recognize that another state did it,” Cooley said.
Cooley argued that Missouri grants divorces in other types of marriages that aren’t recognized in Missouri, but are recognized in other states, such as common-law marriages.
“People married in common-law relationships from other states have had their marriages dissolved forever in Missouri. Missouri has no problem doing that and I don’t know why our client should be treated any differently,” said Cooley.
He also argued to the Court that Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage does not address divorce, therefore the Court doesn’t have to consider whether to overturn that ban in order to allow the divorce proceeding to move forward.
The Court could issue a decision at any time.