Hearing set for restraining order request in same-sex tax returns case

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem will hear arguments next Thursday afternoon on the request that he issue a restraining order in the same-sex tax returns case.

And Beetem today approved the ACLU's request to intervene in the case on behalf of same-sex couples affected by it.

Last November, Gov. Jay Nixon issued an executive order telling the state Revenue department to accept "combined" tax returns from same-sex couples who were married in another state, and who file federal forms as a "married" couple.

In January, four Missouri citizens filed a lawsuit asking the court to block Nixon's order, saying it violated the voter-approved state Constitutional amendment that says Missouri recognizes "only" a marriage between one man and one woman.

This week, Mike Whitehead, a Kansas City attorney representing the four plaintiffs in the lawsuit, asked Beetem to issue a temporary restraining order so that the Revenue department won't process tax forms it already has received, under terms of Nixon's order.

Nixon has argued that Missouri's law requires the state to process tax forms in agreement with federal policy, and that the Internal Revenue Service accepts joint returns from same-sex couples married in states — like Iowa — where those marriages are legal.

But opponents argue Nixon's first duty is to the Missouri Constitution and its rejection of those marriages.

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