1. It is the public policy of this state to recognize marriage only between a man and a woman.

2. Any purported marriage not between a man and a woman is invalid.

Attorney's Note

This statute is unconstitutional after the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015), however it remains "on the books" despite repeated efforts in recent years to have it repealed.  In addion, section 33  of Article I of the Missouri Constitution bars same-sex marriage: "[T]o be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman." This was adopted by Missouri voters in 2004.

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Terms Used In Missouri Laws 451.022

  • State: when applied to any of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" includes such district and territories. See Missouri Laws 1.020

3. No recorder shall issue a marriage license, except to a man and a woman.

4. A marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purpose in this state even when valid where contracted.