St. Louis City Judge
in State of Missouri
Yet another Missouri judge has taken a wrecking ball to the institution of marriage, this time issuing a despotic decision dismantling the institution itself. St. Louis City Circuit Judge Rex Burlison has ordered that marriage in the state of Missouri be redefined to include same-sex unions.
Judge Burlison's brazen decision was precipitated by the outlaw behavior of St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay and former St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter. In late June, at the urging of Mayor Slay, Carpenter began issuing bogus marriage licenses to same-sex "couples" in direct defiance of state law.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed suit immediately seeking to halt the issuance of further same-sex union licenses. The case mysteriously ended up in the court of Judge Burlison, who is a longtime close political ally and personal adviser to Governor Jay Nixon.
Judge Burlison has now ruled in capricious fashion that Missouri laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. His court order decrees that "any same sex couple...is legally entitled to a marriage license" in Missouri. Burlison refused to issue a stay of his imperial order until the case is appealed, so the result is that the city of St. Louis has proceeded to issue "marriage" licenses to same-sex "couples."
Judge Burlison's order mandating so-called same-sex "marriage on Missouri is a raw exercise of judicial tyranny, and a shameless perversion of his oath of office. Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment in August of 2004 declaring that "to be valid and recognized in this state, marriage shall only exist between a man and a woman." The Missouri Marriage Amendment was overwhelmingly endorsed by Missouri citizens by a vote of 71 to 29 percent. The Missouri Legislature also enacted the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 which states that "a marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purposes in this state...
Judge Burlison's persistently dishonest decision is reprehensible not only because it defies Missouri's Constitution and state statutes, but also stands in contradiction to United States Supreme Court precedent recently reaffirmed in the Windsor decision. In that case, the High Court restated unequivocally that "the definition and regulation of marriage" is "within the authority and realm of the states." Burlison's decision also stands in opposition to 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals precedent on the subject of marriage. In the 2006 case of Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, the 8th Circuit ruled decisively that traditional marriage laws do not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, despite Burlison's contrived claims to the contrary.
Judge Burlison's pompous decree ignores the entire history of American constitutional jurisprudence. It is a longstanding constitutional principle that fundamental rights must be deeply rooted in the history and tradition of the nation. The bizarre concept that two same-sex individuals could be "married" has not even been a consideration in virtually the entire history of our nation, let alone have any historical underpinnings. There is not a shred of legal precedent that suggests that due process rights or equal protection guarantees warrant the transformation of the meaning, nature, and purpose of the time-honored institution of marriage.
There is not a single member of Congress who voted to adopt the 14th Amendment in the 19th century who understood that language to compel the redefinition of marriage. There is not a single member of the many state legislatures who voted to ratify the 14th Amendment who understood it to demand the recognition of same-sex unions as "marriages." Yet modern-day judges like Rex Burlison have decided that they will corrupt the purposes of the 14th Amendment to impose their own personal social views on our state and nation. Last month, Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs issued a reckless ruling ordering the state of Missouri to recognize out of state same-sex unions in violation of Missouri law.
Attorneys for Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster have appealed Judge Burlison's ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court. However, in his latest episode of dereliction of duty, Koster is not asking for a stay of the decision from either Judge Burlison or the Missouri Supreme Court. Koster knows that by doing so he is creating legal chaos in the state, where many same-sex "marriage" licenses will be issued before the Supreme Court ever hears the appeal. The High Court will then be faced with the unpleasant proposition of extracting "marriage" licenses from "couples" to whom they were purportedly legally issued. Koster had previously engaged in willful neglect of his sworn duties by refusing to appeal Judge Youngs' decision to the Missouri Supreme Court.
At the present time, the state Recorder of Deeds Association has advised county recorders that Judge Burlison's ruling only applies to St. Louis City. Most county recorders are choosing to abide by state law until the Missouri Supreme Court issues a definitive ruling. However, St. Louis County officials have joined the city of St. Louis in issuing "marriage" licenses to homosexual "couples."