ST. LOUIS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday filed a lawsuit seeking to force the state of Missouri to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries that allow them.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit Wednesday in a Kansas City state court on behalf of eight same-sex couples who live in Missouri and married elsewhere. The lawsuit was announced at news conferences in Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City and Springfield.
In 2004, Missouri became the first state to enact a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage after a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling permitted gay marriage there. Missouri's amendment was approved by 70 percent of voters at the time.
Missouri does not officially recognize gay marriages, and its Republican-led Legislature has not shown any interest in overturning the ban.
Currently, gay marriage is officially recognized in 17 states.
©2014 Associated Press and Inergize Digital. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.