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      Court considers joint tax filings from gay couples

      A Missouri judge is hearing arguments about whether to stop a policy by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration allowing legally married same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem scheduled a hearing Thursday on the request for a temporary restraining order. Several Missouri residents have filed a lawsuit challenging an executive order by Nixon to accept joint returns from same-sex couples who were legally married in another state. The lawsuit contends Nixon's order violates a Missouri constitutional provision that recognizes marriage as only between a man and a woman. Nixon has said Missouri's tax code is tied to the federal code, and that federal officials now accept joint tax returns from married same-sex couples.