ACLU: Missouri gay marriage ban unconstitutional

Eight Missouri couples say they're fighting for their rights as Americans. They filed a lawsuit against the state Wednesday, claiming its ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

We spoke with one of those couples, who got married in California in 2008. They recently moved to Missouri because of a job transfer. But, what didn't transfer were their rights as a married couple.

"I feel like we've had quite a bit taken away from us," said Alan Ziegler.

Especially since their rights were just tested last year, when Alan's husband, LeRoy Fitzwater, had to have emergency surgery. Alan was able to be with LeRoy throughout the process, but now that they've moved to Missouri, he may not even be allowed in LeRoy's room. It's because Missouri voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004 by 71 percent. In 2012, Public Policy Polling asked Missourians again whether gay marriage should be legal. Thirty six percent said yes, 52 percent said no, and 12 percent said they weren't sure. But, the ACLU says the ban is unconstitutional. So, it's helping those eight Missouri couples sue the state.

Proponents of the ban say the ACLU is wasting time and resources.

"Having a judge, one judge, based on a lawsuit, change the will of the people, is very dangerous. It sounds like something that's not very American," said Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin.

But LeRoy and Alan say what's not American, is treating their marriage differently than a husband and wife.

"We're just ordinary Americans wanting to enjoy life and our relationships just like they do," said LeRoy.

Earlier this year, a federal judge struck down a ban similar to Missouri's in Oklahoma. That ban was also passed in 2004.


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