A Missouri politician is seeking to impeach the state’s governor for allowing married gay and lesbian couples to file joint tax returns.
State representative Nick Marshall posted his intentions Friday on Facebook after Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Department of Revenue to comply with a state law requiring all married Missouri couples who file joint federal tax returns to also file jointly with the state. The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages means that gay and lesbian couples can file joint federal tax returns, so the governor reasoned that Missouri couples filing jointly at the federal level must be able to do so at the state level. Missouri does not allow same-sex marriage, but there are gay and lesbian couples living in the state who have married elsewhere.
“I will seek Articles of Impeachment against the Governor,” Marshall wrote. “He has openly disregarded the laws and Constitution of the State of Missouri and allowed his administration to do so on multiple occasions. If we are to live under the Rule of Law, he cannot be allowed to remain in office.”
Nixon issued the executive order Thursday, and it makes Missouri unique among the 50 states — it is the only one without same-sex marriage recognition that will allow the joint state tax filings, reports the News-Leader of Springfield, Mo.
Marshall later called the governor’s order a “clear violation” of his constitional authority in an interview with The Missouri Times.
“I think the constitution in Missouri is very clear that to be valid and recognized, a marriage must be between a man and a woman,” Marshall said. “To me this issue has nothing to do with gay marriage, but whether or not an executive can simply issue a ruling that goes against the stated will of the voters and the language of the constitution.”
He told the Missouri newspaper that he would not pursue his intent to impeach the governor if he could be persuaded that his logic is misguided.
“If I’m persuaded that the position I currently hold isn’t the correct one, then I won’t go forward with this,” Marshall said. “I’m not interested in doing this as some kind of political ploy. But if my position on this remains correct, then I consider it my duty to move forward with it.”