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Lawson v. Kelly

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri.

November 7, 2014

KYLE LAWSON, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ROBERT T. KELLY, in his official Capacity as Director of the Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds, Defendant. STATE OF MISSOURI, Intervenor

Page 924

For Kyle Lawson, Evan Dahlgren, Angela Curtis, Shannon L McGinty, Plaintiffs: Andrew McNulty, Anthony E. Rothert, Grant R. Doty, LEAD ATTORNEYS, American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation-StL, St. Louis, MO; Gillian R. Wilcox, LEAD ATTORNEY, American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation-KCMO, Kansas City, MO; Joshua A Block, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, New York, NY.

For Robert T Kelly, in his official capacity as Director of the Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds, Defendant: Jay Haden, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jackson County Counselor, Kansas City, MO; Jeremiah J. Morgan, Missouri Attorney General's Office-JC, Jefferson City, MO.

For Missouri Family Policy Council, Amicus Curiae Missouri Family Policy Council, Amicus: Marsha I Stiles, LEAD ATTORNEY, Springfield, MO.

For State of Missouri, Intervenor: Jeremiah J. Morgan, Missouri Attorney General's Office-JC, Jefferson City, MO.

Page 925

ORDER AND OPINION (1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS, (2) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, (3) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION, AND (4) STAYING EFFECT OF JUDGMENT PENDING COMPLETION OF APPEALS

ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiffs seek to vindicate their fundamental right to marry, irrespective of the gender of the person they wish to wed. They have sued Robert Kelly, in his official capacity as Director of the Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds, seeking to enjoin enforcement of state law -- including provisions of the Missouri Constitution and the Revised Missouri Statutes -- that would preclude Defendant from issuing the marriage license they seek.

The State of Missouri (" the State" ) intervened as of right pursuant to section 527.110 of the Revised Missouri Statutes in order to defend the constitutionality of these provisions. The State then removed the case to federal court and Kelly has taken no action other than to consent to the removal.[1] Now pending are three motions, all of which are ready for ruling:

1. The State's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings,
2. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, and
3. Plaintiffs' Motion for Permanent Injunction.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Kyle Lawson and Even Dahlgren, both of whom are male, desire to be married. Plaintiffs Angela Curtis and Shannon McGinty, both of who are female, desire to be married. Both couples comply with all marriage requirements imposed by Missouri law save one: they seek to marry a person of the same gender. In June 2014, Lawson and Dahlgren went to the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds to obtain a marriage license; their application was rejected. Separately (but also in June 2014), ...


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