The Missouri Department of Revenue must now accept joint state income tax returns from same-sex married couples, following an executive order issued Thursday by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Gov. Nixon says the order is necessary for two reasons – because Missouri law requires married couples who file joint federal tax returns to also file joint state returns, and because of the U.S. Treasury Department’s recent decision to recognize same-sex marriages, even for couples living in states that don’t recognize gay marriage.
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.
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says the decision over gay marriage should be left to the states, and not to the federal government.
Jones was asked by reporters about US Supreme Court arguments over the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and about whether the GOP majority was interested in moving legislation that would make it illegal in Missouri to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation.
Jones indicated that he’s not going to take any action to encourage the bill’s passage.
Kansas City, Mo. – Gay and lesbian couples who consider themselves married, whether they legally are married or not,will be counted that way in the current census. That marks a shift from previous years.
In the last census, some 600,000 same sex couples check the married box, but when the data was reported, they were deemed unmarried partners. Gay rights groups lobbied Congress to change that in the current census.
Maria Carter spoke with Edward San Filippo from the US Census bureau about the changes in 2010 Census.