gay rights

Stephen Koranda

Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has overturned an executive order that had protected many state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The executive order had been put into place in 2007 by former Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Tom Witt, with the group Equality Kansas, says LGBT state employees don’t have any other protections under Kansas law.

“This is their sole protection in the workplace," Witt says. "Now they can be harassed, denied promotions and fired for no other reason than their sexual orientation.”

Kansas has begun issuing gender-neutral marriage forms, though there's still ongoing litigation over the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

Copies of the new forms were included in a motion that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment filed Wednesday and amended Thursday, seeking to have former Secretary Robert Moser dismissed from the litigation.

The ACLU wants all state agencies in Kansas to recognize same sex marriages. As Stephen Koranda reports, the group is now asking a federal court to make it happen.

The court filing specifically names several state officials, including the secretary of revenue. It says people in same sex relationships have been denied state benefits, like joining their spouse’s health insurance or filing joint taxes.

Thomas Witt, with the group Equality Kansas, says the courts have let same sex marriages go forward in Kansas, and that means they should also be recognized by state agencies.

On Tuesday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the state of Kansas' request to convene the full court to hear its appeal of U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree's order that the state allow same-sex marriages.

The latest procedural development from the federal appeals court in the case has little practical effect because the U.S. Supreme Court has already refused an emergency request to block Crabtree's order. It means that a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit will hear arguments over the preliminary injunction issued in the Kansas case.

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.

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.

Lars Lundqvist / Flickr

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex couples to marry in Kansas. The decision was handed down on Wednesday afternoon. 

    

For now, Kansas is the 33rd state to allow same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court ordered the state to lift its ban while legal battles over the practice continue. County clerks across the state can begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

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.

According to the Johnson County legal department, a petition to repeal Roeland Park's anti-discrimination ordinance can move forward.

If 472 registered voters sign the petition within 180 days, Roeland Park's City Council must either repeal the ordinance, which was approved in August, or place it on a citywide ballot. The county has approved the ballot language that will appear if enough support is garnered.

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