gay marriage

The Kansas Supreme Court has cleared the way for more same-sex marriages in Johnson County, but says it will defer to the U.S. Supreme Court on whether Kansas' ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional.

The Kansas Supreme Court lifted its hold on licenses to same-sex couples in Johnson County yesterday.

Johnson County Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty had authorized the licenses last month after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear cases from three federal appeals courts that had overturned same-sex marriage bans.

Hugo Phan


Correction: A previous posting of this story incorrectly stated 14 couples were wed; an additional couple registered after the ceremony

Abigail Wilson

Judges in at least four Kansas counties were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples a day after the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling allowing them to wed. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that by noon Thursday nearly a dozen couples picked up marriage applications at the Sedgwick County Courthouse.

Civil liberties attorneys are telling the U.S. Supreme Court that delaying same-sex marriage in Kansas will harm same-sex couples and their families.

The American Civil Liberties Union responded to a request from Kansas to the court to maintain the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

The state wants to enforce its ban while the federal courts review a lawsuit filed by the ACLU for two lesbian couples.

A federal judge last week ordered the state to stop enforcing its ban as of 5 p.m. CST Tuesday, but Kansas appealed to the nation's highest court.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has issued an order temporarily blocking same-sex marriage in Kansas.

Sotomayor's order Monday puts a lower-court order clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry on hold indefinitely.

The lower-court order was set to take effect at 5 o'clock this afternoon. Sotomayor acted at the request of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Sotomayor also directed the American Civil Liberties Union to file a response to Schmidt's request by 4 o'clock this afternoon.

Kansas is asking a federal appeals court to stay a judge's preliminary injunction against the state enforcing its same-sex marriage ban.

The state attorney general's office filed the request yesterday with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, a day after appealing a ruling from U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree.

The judge ruled in lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union for two lesbian couples who were denied marriage licenses.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Wednesday indefinitely postponed a hearing in a same-sex marriage case because of a federal judge's order in a separate lawsuit barring the state from enforcing its constitutional same-sex marriage ban.

The ban remains in effect because the judge stayed his decision to allow the state to appeal, which it did. The Kansas court was to hear arguments in its case Thursday but will now consider whether to defer to the federal courts.

A Kansas House Democrat has drafted a new proposal to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Kansas City Representative Louis Ruiz presented his proposal Tuesday during a meeting of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. The panel agreed to sponsor it.

Such proposals have failed to pass several times in recent years.

The group Equality Kansas lists expanding anti-discrimination laws to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and the transgendered people against bias in employment, housing and public accommodations is a key goal.

Legislators are also reopening debate on whether the state should give special legal protections for people, groups, and businesses who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons.

A Senate panel will take testimony on Thursday from legal scholars on whether existing state laws protect gay-marriage opponents from being fined or sued for refusing to provide goods or services for same-sex weddings.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing follows the House's passage of what supporters called a "religious freedom" bill.

Gay-rights supporters are rallying at the Kansas Statehouse at 1pm on Tuesday to protest anti-gay marriage legislation that critics contend would encourage discrimination.

Rally organizers include: the group Equality Kansas, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

They oppose a bill that prohibits government fines and anti-discrimination lawsuits when people, groups, businesses cite their religious beliefs for refusing goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to gay and lesbian couples.