Missouri recently tried to ban same-sex marriage but was challenged by the federal court. A judge ruled that the ban violates the Constitution.


Ortie D. Smith challenged Missouri's ban with the Fourteenth Amendment. (uscourts.gov)

Ortie D. Smith challenged Missouri’s ban with the Fourteenth Amendment. (uscourts.gov)

Ortie D. Smith, federal judge, claimed specifically that the ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause. The clause was added in 1868 and states that no state can deny any person under its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws.”


The ban was originally challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, for two same-sex couples. Smith claimed to have found insubstantial state interest in denying marriage rights to same-sex couples.


In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 32 states. Smith’s rulings may pave the way toward total legalization, and a more humanistic approach toward queer issues on the legal level, since he treated same-sex couples simply as citizens who deserve the same rights as everyone else.


Do you think that Ortie’s decision will have greater implications for issues involving queer rights? Respond in the comments or on Twitter @ryanlawlessness