Missouri’s first openly gay senator married over weekend
Posted on May 5, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
Jolie Justus, Missouri’s first openly gay senator, took her seat on the Senate floor as a married woman for the first time Monday.
But Justus’ marriage isn’t recognized in Missouri because of a 2004 constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters and legislators alike that mandates a marriage is between one man and one woman.
“Missouri is not ready for same-sex marriage,” Justus said Monday, though she also said she was “overwhelmed” with congratulations upon returning to work.
Justus and her partner, Shonda Garrison, were among 17 couples that traveled on a bus over the weekend to get married in Iowa, the state that most recently legalized same-sex marriages.
“I’ve been fighting, as everybody knows, for equality for years now, and it would mean a lot to them to have us on the bus,” said Justus, D-Jackson County. “And to my partner and me personally, it meant a lot for us to be on the bus, too, because we wanted to have that moment with those 16 other couples, and I’m glad that we did.”
Some senators who voted for the 2004 amendment banning same-sex marriage declined to comment on the recent nuptials. Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, said: “I’m not going to respond to it.”
New Hampshire set for divisive gay marriage vote -
17 gay couples bus to Iowa, marry, go back to Missouri
Minnesota gay couples head to Iowa to get married
Minnesota Poll: A subtle shift on gay unions