Missouri is not a flashy, rock-the-boat kind of state. Folks up north in Iowa, they’re the type to make noise and make a big to-do about everything. The first state to hold presidential candidate primaries? The caucus in Iowa. The first state to display a butter cow at the state fair? Yep, Iowa. And the first state in the Midwest to legalize marriage for gay people? Iowa. Iowa is like the nerdy kid in school who had to be at the front of the line, always showing off. Well good for you, Iowa.
People in Missouri, they prefer to not make a fuss. For example, Missouri is official swing-state territory — but not because half the residents are staunchly Democratic and the other half staunchly Republican. It’s just because, well, people can see both sides to things. Just don’t raise your voice and yell with your point of view, please.
Now the gay marriage issue has finally reached their borders, and unlike those rowdy Iowans up north, of course Missouri is doing it without much fanfare. The governor, Gov. Jay Nixon (D), said he plans on issuing an executive order to accept state-level joint tax returns for gay couples who were legally married in other states but now live in Missouri. From his statement:
“Missouri is one of a number of states whose tax code is directly tied to that of the federal government and under Missouri law, legally married couples who file joint federal tax returns with the IRS must also file joint state returns with our state Department of Revenue,” Gov. Nixon said.
“As a result, accepting the jointly-filed state tax returns of all legally-married couples who file federal returns is the only appropriate course of action, given Missouri statutes and the ruling by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.”
This is obviously not just about state tax returns; it’s the first step in legalizing marriage between couples of two men or two women, and of course it will set in motion a big political rigmarole since Missouri’s Constitution has an amendment banning marriage between people of the same sex. But, y’know, times change. Gay marriage isn’t such shocking news anymore, it was legalized a little while ago over east in Illinois, and Modern Family is on TV. Eric Stonestreet’s character Cam is from Missouri. He’s just so funny.
So when — we’ll go ahead and say “when,” not “if” — marriage for the LGBT community is fully legalized in Missouri, it will take a little bit of time to happen but things will work out. Don’t expect a big production. It’s not like Mizzou beat the Jayhawks in basketball.