On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5 – 4 decision in favor of marriage equality throughout the nation, allowing counties in each of the states to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses. Missouri was one of 18 states where marriage equality was not legalized statewide that is now complying with the ruling in each of its counties. Though the ruling now gives legal validity to the love between two individuals no matter their sexual orientation, the work towards achieving equality for all Missourians must continue.
A person may now marry their partner and be recognized under the law, yet the fear of being fired from their job, denied housing, or removed from public accommodations persists. Through the implementation of the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA), which would update the Missouri Human Rights Statute to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories, the uneasiness that many couples face at the hands of discrimination would diminish. All Missourians deserve the opportunity to feel welcomed without fear of intolerance because of who they are, and no couple should be afraid to apply for their marriage license.
Along with guaranteeing equal treatment, we will continue our work with Governor Jay Nixon and Missouri Department officials to ensure that all marriages are treated with equal recognition in the state of Missouri. Shortly after the ruling, Governor Jay Nixon made a committed statement to LGBT Missourians ensuring that he will take “all steps necessary” to “ensure this decision is implemented throughout the state of Missouri.” PROMO will be working together with the Governor’s office to ensure his commitment to us.
Without a doubt, marriage equality is a pivotal victory in the LGBT liberation movement. Nevertheless, we must remember that following the marriage celebration, a considerable amount of work needs to continue in order to create a more equal and inclusive Missouri.