The Missouri Supreme Court ruled today that Missouri Circuit Courts have subject matter jurisdiction over same-sex dissolution of marriages.
The Court ruled in In re the Marriage of: M.S. v. D.S. that a sua sponte dismissal for lack of subject matter was error despite the Missouri constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage. The Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of gay marriage or whether the trial court could actually dissolve a same-sex marriage.
Missouri trial courts have jurisdiction over gay divorces.
Several groups including the ACLU, PROMO, Lambda Legal Defense, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and others filed briefs as friends of the Court. The decision is being received as a small but significant step in the direction of equal rights for same-sex couples.