Judge asked to immediately prohibit same-sex couples from filing joint Missouri tax returns UPDATE with reaction

03/26/2014 3:06 PM

03/26/2014 3:06 PM

The leader of a conservative group which supports traditional marriage has asked a Cole County judge to stop the state from accepting joint tax returns from same-sex couples.

Kerry Messer of the Missouri Family Network and several other plaintiffs have sued Gov. Jay Nixon

and others in state government, alleging the decision to accept joint returns from same-sex couples violates the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Now the group has asked Cole County judge

Jon Beetem

to put an immediate stop to the practice.

In court papers, the plaintiffs claim they will suffer “immediate and irreperable damage” if the state continues to accept the joint returns.

Nixon issued an executive order allowing the joint returns because the state’s tax code is linked with the federal government’s.

But the plaintiffs said that doesn’t give the governor the right to allow joint tax returns. “When the legislature tied the Missouri tax code to the federal definitions, no one dreamed that the federal code would one day define these terms to include same-sex couples,” the filing says.

“The Missouri governor has, in effect, by-passed the legislature and the voters, who have spoken clearly about what shall be recognized as a legal marriage in Missouri.”

Nixon’s order does not recognize same-sex marriage. Instead, it allows same-sex couples who file jointly on their federal returns to use the same designation on their Missouri taxes, as long as they were legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages.

UPDATE: “I fail to see how anyone is specifically harmed by a couple filing their taxes jointly,” said a statement from

A.J. Bockelman

of PROMO, a lobbying group involved in same-sex issues.

“Other states, such as Kansas where they also have a constitutional amendment but do not allow joint filing, will require couples to file a total of five returns between state and federal,” the statement said.

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