The ACLU wants all state agencies in Kansas to recognize same sex marriages. 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.
The American Civil Liberties Union has broadened its lawsuit over Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, seeking to enforce inheritance, driver's license and health insurance rights on behalf of same-sex couples.
The original lawsuit was filed in October by two lesbian couples and sought a ruling that Kansas’ same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The amended complaint seeks to require state officials to recognize the marriages of couples who were wed in other states as well as in Kansas.
Gay marriage advocates have been gaining key victories all over the country. These successes are part of a larger strategy that's been in the works for years.
On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the author of a new book about why winning at the state level is a key part of the plan to change laws nationwide. We also check out what's next in the campaign for marriage equality.
Although gay and lesbian couples are getting married in at least 24 Kansas counties, Gov. Sam Brownback won’t allow any state recognition of the unions.
Brownback said Thursday that he won’t offer any of the benefits heterosexual couples get, such as name changes on a driver’s license or employee benefits for gay and lesbian state workers.
“There is still considerable legal ambiguity on the topic of same-sex marriage,” said Eileen Hawley, a Brownback spokeswoman. “Once that ambiguity is gone, the governor will direct state agencies to comply with applicable laws.”
At least six of Kansas' 105 counties issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Thursday, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court let take effect an order overturning a ban state officials had feverishly hoped to keep in place.
The Jackson County Recorder of Deeds began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a judge ruled Missouri's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. John Kenny Rodericks and Robb Gann were first in line.
The Jackson County Recorder of Deeds began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Friday afternoon after a federal judge in Kansas City struck down Missouri's same-sex marriage ban.
Jackson County officials had told couples seeking marriage licenses they would have to wait because the judge's order had been stayed. But Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders directed the Recorder of Deeds office to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples Friday afternoon.
A federal judge on Friday did not rule on a case filed by two gay couples who want marriage licenses in Kansas. One of the couples blamed the state's delay on election-year politics.
The case, originally filed Oct. 10, was heard in open court by U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree, who did not say when he would announce a decision. The couples are seeking marriage licenses, which would, in effect, overturn the Kansas gay marriage ban.
Margo Lauer, right, went with her partner, Sheila Hafner, and their son, Thomas Miller, to apply for a marriage license in Johnson County on Oct. 9. The Merriam couple held a commitment ceremony 11 years ago.
There's been a lot of ambiguity in the laws surrounding same-sex marriage in Kansas, with Johnson County clerks first given a green light to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and then swiftly given the red light in short order. So how do couples evaluate their options while the state is in limbo? And what's happening in the courts right now?
Margo Lauer, right, went with her partner, Sheila Hafner, and their son, Thomas Miller, to apply for a marriage license in Johnson County Thursday morning. The Merriam couple held a commitment ceremony 11 years ago.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place appeals court decisions that overturned same sex marriage bans in five states. Some people believe that means all the states in those legal jurisdictions should now start allowing same sex marriages, including Kansas.
But, state officials aren't giving up on the same sex marriage ban. At some local courthouses in Kansas, workers have blocked same sex couples from applying for a marriage license. Some other courthouses have let couples apply, but those applications haven't yet been approved.
Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 10:07 pm
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.
City officials in St. Louis mounted a challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban on Wednesday when they allowed four gay couples to wed at City Hall.
But on the other side of the state, it's unlikely Kansas City Mayor Sly James will follow suit. James tweeted Thursday that due to differences in the two cities' charters, he is unable to issue marriage licenses:
The Missouri Department of Revenue must now accept joint state income tax returns from same-sex married couples, following an executive order issued Thursday by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Gov. Nixon says the order is necessary for two reasons – because Missouri law requires married couples who file joint federal tax returns to also file joint state returns, and because of the U.S. Treasury Department’s recent decision to recognize same-sex marriages, even for couples living in states that don’t recognize gay marriage.
A constitutional law professor at Washington University in St. Louis says the US Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act will have little impact on Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban.
Greg Magarian says states make laws about marriage, such as the legal age for marriage and legal benefits. That’s not the territory of the federal government.