An historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court permitting same-sex marriage in all states did not have an immediate impact in Marion County Friday morning.

An historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court permitting same-sex marriage in all states did not have an immediate impact in Marion County Friday morning.

Although Marion County Recorder of Deeds Harla Friesz did not have any calls or visits from same-sex couples seeking a marriage license, she said she waited for final instructions from the Recorders’ Association of Missouri and word from Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David N. Clayton to proceed with issuing such licenses.

“It’s a federal ruling, so that’s what we’re going with,” Friesz said.

She anticipated having the ability to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples by the end of the day Friday, June 26. By 4 p.m., Friesz said she had not issued any same-sex marriage licenses.

“In the past, I’ve had maybe two calls,” Friesz said about same-sex couples seeking a marriage license.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling Friday morning strikes down a ban on gay marriage in Missouri dating back to a vote in 2004, in which 71 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of restricting marriage to one man and one woman.

Before Friday’s ruling, Missouri was one of 14 states where same-sex couples could not legally wed. But a few counties, generally situated in the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples in 2014 as a basis for a lawsuit to challenge the 2004 vote.

The St. Louis County Circuit Judge found the ban unconstitutional and the St. Louis recorder began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in November 2014.

Mostly considered on a state-by-state basis in the past, the Supreme Court’s ruling clears the way for same-sex couples to legally marry in any state.

While the news didn’t set the Marion County courthouse in Palmyra abuzz with activity, other statewide legislators reacted to the decision.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon tweeted, “Today’s SCOTUS decision is a major victory for equality and an important step toward greater fairness & justice for all.”

Missouri’s Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster is dropping appeals of two cases dealing with same-sex marriage following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize those unions.

Koster announced he’s dismissing appeals for the cases hours after the high court’s Friday decision.

“I believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” Rep. Sam Graves (R-6) said. “I also believe in protecting each state’s right to determine its own marriage laws, and I am disappointed the Supreme Court today ruled in the opposite direction.”

 

Reach editor Eric Dundon at eric.dundon@courierpost.com .