Missouri Man with Disability Can Now Obtain a Marriage License

Affiliate: ACLU of Missouri
May 12, 2014 12:00 am

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SPRINGFIELD, MO – Brad Glass, of Mountain View, has a disability that impacts his ability to travel, so he is unable to comply with Missouri’s arbitrary statutory requirement that marriage license applicants appear in person before a Recorder of Deeds. Today, the Howell County Recorder of Deeds has been ordered by a United States District Court judge to meet Glass at his home and issue him a marriage license.

Glass, who is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, and his fiancé have been engaged since December 2012 and are eager to get married as soon as possible. Although the ACLU has successfully challenged this in-presence requirement on behalf of fiancés of prisoners, this is the first time the ACLU is also claiming a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“A bill that recently passed the legislature would eliminate the in-presence requirement for prisoners,” says Jeffrey A. Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri. “We urged lawmakers to fix this problem for persons with disabilities and those serving in the military who face the same barrier to getting married in Missouri.”

“It is a shame that the Missouri legislature thinks that individuals with disabilities do not deserve the same opportunity to marry that prisoners will enjoy,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “The legislature has an opportunity to eliminate a real barrier to the right to marry, but decided to keep the barrier in place for just people with disabilities. It is not too late for the legislature to send an inclusive bill to the Governor.”

The ACLU of Missouri is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to defending and expanding the constitutional rights and civil liberties of all Missourians guaranteed by the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions, and is an affiliate of the national ACLU.

Court documents can be found at the bottom of the Glass v. Trowbridge page on the ACLU of Missouri’s website at www.aclu-mo.org.

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