Missouri's assistant attorney general has argued that state law, backed by the vote of the people, makes it clear that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.
Jeremiah Morgan defended Missouri's same-sex marriage ban Monday in a St. Louis courtroom. St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison is deciding whether the ban is constitutional.
St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert argued the state has no business treating gay and lesbian couples as "second-class citizens."
The city of St. Louis issued marriage licenses in June to four same-sex couples, setting up a court fight over the state's 2004 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
It isn't clear when Burlison will issue a ruling. St. Louis officials have stopped issuing marriage licenses to gay couples until legal issues are resolved.