A constitutional law professor at Washington University in St. Louis says the US Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act will have little impact on Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban.
Greg Magarian says states make laws about marriage, such as the legal age for marriage and legal benefits. That’s not the territory of the federal government.
“So you could sort of read the court’s decision today as saying, man Congress, you really went off the reservation to sort of make this sweeping judgment about same-sex marriage," said Magarian.
"As a matter of law and as a matter of some of the rhetoric in the case, they’re saying Missouri, you do what you want to do."
Magarian says the SCOTUS decision will give same-sex couple in Missouri who legally married in another state the same federal benefits of heterosexual married couples, like survivor benefits under a federal pension and jointly filing federal income taxes. Same-sex couples in Missouri will still have to file their Missouri income taxes as unmarried individuals.