Justus legally marries
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Justus legally marries

Date: May 6, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Missouri's first openly gay Senator had a historic day in the Senate on Monday.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

Jackson County Democrat Jolie Justus legally married her partner Shonda Garrison this past weekend in Iowa becoming the first Missouri legislator to step onto the Senate floor as a legally married gay.

Justus said she realizes the marriage isn't legal in Missouri but still is happy.

Actuality:  JUSTUS.WAV
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Description: "For us to stand up in front of our friends in Iowa and have our commitment to each other legally recognized knowing that when we came back to Missouri it would not be legally recognized but it would be just as important to us."
 

In 2004, Missouri voters passed a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriages.
 
Several senators who voted for the measure said they don't recognize her marriage in Missouri.
 
In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.
Intro: It was a historic day in the Senate Monday as Missouri's first legally married gay senator returned to work.

However, several senators said they would not recognize her marriage.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

Jackson County Democratic Senator Jolie Justus became the first Missouri legislator to be legally married to her same-sex partner.

In response to her marriage, President Pro Tem of the Senate Republican Charlie Shields said the 2004 constitutional amendment bans gay marriage in Missouri and would not change her Missouri marital status.

Actuality:  SHIELDS2.WAV
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Description: "Well, in Missouri our constitution is very clear. We recognize marriage as between one man and one woman. Legally, whatever Senator Justus did in another state is certainly her decision but it's not recognized as a marriage in Missouri."

Shields said his working relationship with Justus would not change because of her marriage.

Justus said numerous colleagues have congratulated her on her historic achievement.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: Despite her same sex marriage this past weekend in Iowa, Missouri's first legally married gay senator said Monday that Missouri still isn't ready for same sex marriage.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

Jackson County Democratic Senator Jolie Justus said she will continue to push for equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, but will not focus on gay marriage.

Actuality:  JUSTUS4.WAV
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Description: People have asked me, does this mean that you're going to try and get gay marriage in Missouri. The answer is no. I mean, the marriage amendment that was passed in 2004 overwhelmingly by Missourians says marriage is between a man and a woman. So, I know when we crossed that border from Iowa into Missouri that marriage is not recognized.

Justus said she has received overwhelming support from her colleagues.

Still, some senators said they do not recognize her marriage under the 2004 constitutional amendment which bans gay marriage.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.