Press Release: ACLU Responds to Missouri Legislature’s Attempt to Intervene in Marriage Recognition Lawsuit


KANSAS CITY, MO – The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri (ACLU of Missouri) has filed its opposition to an attempt to intervene in Barrier v. Vasterling by the Missouri legislature.

“As a state senator, I know full well that the General Assembly and our leaders have bigger issues deserving their attention,” said State Senator Jolie Justus, the Senate Minority leader. “And, as a lawyer, I cannot understand why they would allege that the legislature had any legal standing to intervene.”

“Our statewide elected chief lawyer for the State of Missouri, Attorney General Chris Koster,  made a legal determination that the State of Missouri  should not appeal the court’s decision in  Barrier,” said State Representative Mike  Colona. “That decision rests solely with the office of  Attorney General. We should respect the decision of a co-equal branch of government and we as a General Assembly should not intervene in the legal process without first having debated the issue and authorizing such intervention.”

“This legal maneuvering is an unfortunate waste of time and resources. Both the legal court and the court of public opinion are in agreement that all legal marriages must be recognized by the state of Missouri.  What’s more, actively working to take rights away from loving families is not in keeping with the values of Missourians,” says Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri.

A copy of the ACLU’s opposition can be found on the legal dockets page of the ACLU of Missouri’s website.

The ACLU of Missouri is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that defends and expands the constitutional rights and civil liberties of all Missourians guaranteed under the United States and Missouri Constitutions, through its litigation, legislative and public education programs. It is an affiliate of the national ACLU.




Dec. 5, 2014

Contact:  Diane Balogh, (314) 669-3425 (w) (314) 498-5286 (c)