Status of LGBTQ rights in Missouri

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling to abstain from hearing appeals at lower level courts, same-sex marriage has been legalized in eight states. Missouri is one out of 18 states that maintains a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but it does formally recognize all out-of-state marriages.

Missouri’s relationship with the LGBTQ community has changed over time. In 2003, Missouri was one of four states to criminalize homosexuality. The Supreme Court ruled this “unenforceable,” and the ban on homosexuality was lifted.

However, Missouri unlike Michigan and Mississippi, has no ban on same-sex couples filing for joint adoption.

A domestic partnership is a relationship between two people in which they live together but are not married. This can allow for some liberties such as joint property ownership but restricts such marital rights like spousal military benefits. There has also been some legislative effort to legally protect members of the LGBT community. The Missouri State Senate passed legislation that banned discrimination against sexual orientation in the workplace, public accommodation, and housing.

Jackson County and and the following cities in Missouri recognize same-sex domestic partnerships: Clayton, Columbia, Kansas City, Olivette, St. Louis, and University City. To see where the rest of the states stand, check out CNN’s map.


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