In a move that brings ill repute on the Governor's office and the rule of law in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon has issued an executive order on the subject of same-sex
unions that is in flagrant violation of the Missouri Constitution and state statutes.
Under the terms of the executive order, same-sex "couples" who have been legally "married" in another state would be able to file joint state income tax returns in Missouri.
Nixon's unlawful decree stands in total defiance of Missouri's Marriage Amendment, adopted by Missouri voters in August of 2004. That amendment, found in Section 33 of Article I of Missouri's Bill of Rights, states "that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman." Missouri voters approved the Marriage Amendment by a resounding vote of 71 to 29 percent.
Nixon's dictatorial action also subverts state law, which states that "it is the public policy of this state to
recognize marriage only between a man and a woman." That law, found in section 451.022 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, also states that "a marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purpose
in this state even when valid where contracted."
Nixon's brazen decision to trample on Missouri's Constitution in order to satisfy the desire of homosexual activists is one of the most egregious examples of outlaw behavior by the state's chief executive in the history of Missouri.
Nixon claims that his executive order is necessary because Missouri income tax law is linked to federal tax law, which was recently altered by the Internal Revenue Service to accommodate same-sex unions. Yet this is a specious claim, since under Missouri law, even married couples who file joint tax returns have their income taxed separately.
The Obama Administration's IRS recently issued a rule declaring that the terms "husband" and "wife" in federal tax law would henceforth include individuals of the
same gender. The action came on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year in the Windsor
In that decision, the High Court ordered that federal benefits must be extended to same-sex partners of federal employees in states where those unions have been legally recognized as "marriages." The IRS expanded that decision in unlawful fashion to apply to all "married" same-sex couples "regardless of their place of domicile" in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Regardless of the interpretation of the Windsor
ruling, action by the IRS to revise federal income tax law does
not empower a governor of a state to ignore the constitution and laws of that state as they apply to state taxation of income.
In further evidence of his contempt for the people of Missouri, Nixon announced that he supports the repeal of Missouri laws preserving marriage as the union of a man and a woman. "I think if folks want to get married, they should be able to get married," Nixon said at the press conference announcing his unilateral order.House Speaker Tim Jones
sharply attacked Nixon for his contempt for the rule of law. "The Governor's job is to defend our state's constitution...not to surrender to the whims of the Obama Administration. This executive
order is nothing but an attempt to violate the voters' will. "
"I would call upon Governor Nixon to supply the legal opinion from Attorney General Christ Koster providing the justification for the action he has taken in ignoring the Constitution of the State of Missouri."
Religious leaders have also been quick to respond. In a joint statement, Missouri's Catholic bishops expressed "profound disappointment" in Nixon's arbitrary action. "Governor Nixon's decision unilaterally and by executive fiat ignores the fundamental and longstanding uniqueness of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. His decision circumvents and disregards the Missouri citizens who overwhelmingly voted in 2004 to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
"The institution of marriage...has been given special protection under the law through the years in order to promote a stable society and the right of children to know and be raised by a mother and father," the statement continued. "The state fails in its duty to protect this institution and the common good by re-defining it."
The letter was signed by Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop John Gaydos of Jefferson City, and Bishop James Johnston, Jr., of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.Don Hinkle
, Director of Public Policy for the Missouri Baptist Convention, also condemned Nixon's "reckless" behavior. "This is a sad day for Missouri. The people of
Missouri spoke clearly about marriage in this state being strictly between a man and a woman. We urge Attorney General Chris Koster to defend the Missouri Constitution and the sanctity of traditional marriage against this shameful act."
Debate over Nixon's autocratic action extends well beyond customary political, ideological, or moral disputes over public policy. The essential primary function and duty of a chief executive in the executive branch of government is to administer and enforce the laws, regardless of the officeholder's personal views about such laws. All the moreso when it comes to the supreme law contained in a Constitution adopted by the people.
In taking his oath of office, Jay Nixon swore to uphold and defend the laws and Constitution of the State of Missouri. Not only has he chosen to disregard the laws
he has been called on to faithfully enforce, he has acted to undermine those laws in tyrannical fashion. In so doing, he has forfeited any moral authority to continue to function as the Governor of our State.
It would seem that Jay Nixon is seeking to emulate President Barack Obama in operating as an imperial chief executive. President Obama has issued countless unlawful executive orders in a so-far successful effort to legislate from the Oval Office. It appears Jay Nixon intends to legislate from the Governor's office in similar imperial fashion.
It also appears Jay Nixon has decided to reject the Christan conservative values of the people of Missouri in
order to pursue further political aspirations. Support of the homosexual agenda has become an article of faith in the national Democratic Party, and many observers speculate that Nixon's focus has shifted to the national stage.
Jay Nixon's destructive decision to trash Missouri's Constitution and spit in the face of Missouri voters cannot go unanswered. We will be discussing possible scenarios of response in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can let Governor Nixon know what you think of his lawless conduct. You can do so by clicking this link:Governor Nixon