Add another state to the list of those moving toward marriage equality. Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon just announced that he supports marriage equality, and will order the state to start accepting joint tax returns from gay and lesbian couples.
The Columbia Tribune reports:
Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that he supports legalizing gay marriage in Missouri during a news conference announcing that homosexual couples married under the laws of other states would be allowed to file combined state tax returns. In an executive order, Nixon directed the Department of Revenue to accept the combined returns as a reaction to the June ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law barred same sex couples who were legally married from receiving any marriage-based federal benefits, such as tax exemptions and Social Security payments. Under state law, couples who file a joint federal return are required to file a combined state tax return. The executive order clarifies that the law applies to all couples, Nixon said.
It’s a great first step, although it’s unclear if and when Missouri might actually legalize marriage equality. Governor Nixon hopes that will happen as well, but with the GOP controlling more than two thirds of both chambers, legislative action on such a bill appears unlikely in the near future.