JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday he will issue an executive order directing the state Department of Revenue to accept jointly-filed tax returns from same-sex couples married in other states.

“Missouri is one of a number of states whose tax code is directly tied to that of the federal government and under Missouri law, legally married couples who file joint federal tax returns with the IRS must also file joint state returns with our state Department of Revenue,” Nixon wrote in a statement.

“As a result, accepting the jointly-filed state tax returns of all legally-married couples who file federal returns is the only appropriate course of action, given Missouri statutes and the ruling by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.”

Nixon cites a U.S. Treasury Department and IRS ruling in August that married same-sex couples be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of their residence.

The governor stressed in his news release that the executive only applies to taxes and “does not in any way authorize or sanction same-sex marriage in Missouri.”

LGBT activist group PROMO applauded the governor’s action Thursday, calling it a “consistent and pragmatic approach” to the federal rulings.

“We applaud the governor for giving clarity to same-sex couples and providing guidance on how we complete tax return information in the state of Missouri,” PROMO Executive Director A.J. Bockelman said in an emailed statement.

Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka, criticized the governor’s decision Thursday, saying it “defies Missouri voters.”

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