Same Sex Couples

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The same day the Kansas governor vowed to protect “religious freedom,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order to ensure state agencies are implementing last month’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at protecting "religious freedom"  for clergy that refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The order will protect the religious liberty of those who feel they may be forced to sanctify such unions after the U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 26, Brownback said.

"Today’s executive order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs," Brownback said in a statement.

The order comes a day after Brownback quietly allowed state agencies to comply with the high court's ruling, so couples can now do things like place state workers’ spouses on health care plans.

@mayorslyjames / Twitter

For some Kansas Citians, Friday's Supreme Court decision that same sex-couples have the right to marriage meant holding back tears at work.

That was the case for Twitter user Nicolette Martin (@nicoletteemma).

For Josh Neff, the decision meant breaking "the news to my LGBTQA daughter."

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR

Marriage equality advocates in Missouri and Kansas rejoiced Friday as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states are not allowed to place bans on unions by same-sex couples.

Ludovic Bertron/Flickr

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage pending, many people in Kansas and Missouri are confused about the state of the unions here.

In shorthand, whether same-sex couples can get married depends on where you live. Both states are a marriage mixed bag, with some counties offering licenses and others refusing to allow gay weddings.

To clear up some of the confusion as we await word from the high court, here’s our FAQs on TTK (tying the knot):

Q: Just what is the high court deciding?

Two issues: whether states have the right to ban same-sex marriage; and whether states can refuse to recognize those marriages performed in other states. 

Put another way, to quote SCOTUSblog: “1.) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2.) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?”

Q: Where can same-sex couples get marriage licenses now?

Missouri —  three places: the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and Jackson County.

Kansas — Johnson County and 60 other counties (out of a total of 105 counties), where clerks or judges decided to honor a federal appellate court decision.

Johnson County District Court

The Johnson County, Kan., judge who approved the issuing of marriage licenses for same-sex couples is now the subject of a recall.

Bruce Baumgardner, a physiology professor at Johnson County Community College, on Friday announced that he is trying to oust Johnson County Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty by urging people to vote against him in the November election, according to the Kansas City Star.

Tod Martin wasn’t going to let 20 words keep him from marrying David Gray.

While it took more than 20 years, St. Louis officials last week issued Martin and Gray a marriage license. They’re among eight people who are testing the state’s nearly 10-year-old, 20-word ban on gay marriage.

Joy, Tears In KC At DOMA Provision Defeat

Jun 26, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

As the Supreme Court has allowed federal benefits to same sex couples married in states where those unions are allowed by law, there is no legal change in Missouri or Kansas.

UM System Board Extends Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

Jun 14, 2013
Flickr/Adam_Procter400

The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted unanimously Thursday to extend employment benefits to same sex couples employed by the UM System.

“Effectively, more and more employers and institutions such as the University of Missouri System realize you need to have these types of benefits in order to remain competitive in a state environment,” said AJ Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO – a Missouri LGBT rights group that has been advocating for this change.

Bockelman estimates that benefits will be extended to approximately 250 couples throughout the state.