Attorney General for Missouri, Chris Koster, has issued a statement that the state will not appeal a recent ruling requiring the state to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.
The state of Missouri is part of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has not ruled as of yet on the issue of same-sex marriage.
“The circuit court’s judgment in Barrier v. Vasterling held that Missouri must recognize marriages lawfully entered into in other states. We will not appeal that judgment. Our national government is founded upon principles of federalism – a system that empowers Missouri to set policy for itself, but also obligates us to honor contracts entered into in other states. A consequence of this morning’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court is that gay marriage will soon be legal in as many as 30 states. At a time when Missouri is competing to attract the nation’s premier businesses and most talented employees, we should not demand that certain individuals surrender their marriage licenses in order to live and work among us. Missouri’s future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion.”
In the past, Koster, who is a Democrat, has indicated that he personally believes in marriage equality but would defend the laws on the books in his state.