Tolerance for homosexuality may be on the rise in the U.S., but some politicians are clinging tooth and nail to traditional ideologies. Missouri Rep. Nick Marshall (R-Parkville) is pushing to have Governor Jay Nixon impeached for accepting tax returns filed jointly between gay couples who were married in other states.
Nixon gave an executive order to accept these joint returns, and Marshall is claiming that in doing so he broke the law. According to The Associated Press, Marshall said he is acting alone, and has not conferred with House leaders. He also said that he is not pushing the impeachment to garner attention or further his political career.
Although Nixon chose not to comment, the AP did manage to get hold of the Missouri attorney general’s office, who claimed that the governor’s order follows state tax laws.
Along with his executive order, Nixon made a public announcement that he supports gay marriage.
“Many Missourians, including myself, are thinking about these issues of equality in new ways and reflecting on what constitutes discrimination,” he said. “For me, that process has led to the belief that we shouldn’t treat folks differently because of who they are.”
Marshall says that his impeachment efforts do not stem from homophobia. In an interview with The Missouri Times, he said, “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. 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.”
Marshall initially used strong language, saying, “If we are to live under the Rule of Law, [Nixon] cannot be allowed to remain in office.”
However, he has since softened his tone, saying, “If I’m persuaded that the position I currently hold isn’t the correct one, then I won’t go forward with this.”