A Missouri county is observing a year of 'mourning' because gay and lesbian couples can get married


In a resolution approved unanimously on Monday, officials in Dent County, Missouri, voted to observe a year of “mourning” in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

The proposal will lower the flags at the county court house and judiciary building to below half-staff once a month for the next year. This also happens to be where couples obtain marriage licenses. Dent County’s Recorder of Deeds Cindy Ard told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that, so far, one couple has applied for a license with the county.

In contrast to officials like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Dent County Commissioner Darrell Skiles, who wrote the resolution by hand, acknowledges his legal obligation to uphold the law, writing:

Today we as elected officials have no choice but to conduct business in accordance with established law. We do not possess the luxury of cherry picking which laws we agree with and choose to uphold and which laws we choose to reject and ignore.

The resolution continues:

But! We can express our strong disapproval of blatant judicial overreach.  […] May all who see these flags at this lowered position be reminded of this despicable Supreme Court travesty.

“I just want anybody who sees that to be reminded we find it revolting that the Supreme Court has ruled in this manner,” Skiles told BuzzFeed.

A petition started by a Dent County resident who opposes the resolution is also making the rounds.

From the petition:

The act of lowering the American flag from full height has long been a way for communities to mourn local and national tragedies. To compare the Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage rights to those tragedies in any way is an insult to both the tragedies that have been previously mourned in this manner and the basic principles of government under which the United States operates that led to this court decision, not to mention those personally affected by the ruling.

“Even if this doesn’t change their minds, I wanted it out there that we’re not all a bunch of closed-minded individuals mourning the Supreme Court decision,” Alex Sellers, who started the petition, told the Post-Dispatch. “This is not just a backward place. There’s another side of this.”

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