Tags: US | gay | marriage | Kansas

Kansas Supreme Court Allows More Gay Marriages

Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 07:09 PM

The Kansas Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for additional gay marriages in the state's most populous county while declaring that it would defer to the federal courts on whether Kansas' ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional.

The Kansas court also declined to say whether all of the state's 105 counties fall under a U.S. Supreme Court order last week blocking the state from enforcing laws and a provision in its constitution against gay marriage. The nation's highest court acted in a lawsuit filed over the denial of marriage licenses to lesbian couples in two counties.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decision, gay couples have obtained marriage licenses and wed in at least a few counties, but not in those where the chief state district court judges were blocking them. In Kansas, district court clerks issue marriage licenses after a mandatory three-day wait.

The Kansas Supreme Court's decision lifts its hold on licenses to same-sex couples in Johnson County, home to affluent Kansas City suburbs. The chief judge of its district court authorized such licenses last month, but state Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed a petition to block them.

In an order signed by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, the Kansas court said there's no reason to keep the hold on same-sex marriage licenses in place in Johnson County when the U.S. Supreme Court has authorized them elsewhere.

Schmidt, a Republican recently re-elected with 67 percent of the vote, has said the U.S. Supreme Court order applies only in Douglas County in northeast Kansas and Sedgwick County, home to Wichita in south-central Kansas, because no other counties' court clerks were defendants.

The Kansas court disagreed but declined to make a specific statement about its scope.

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The Kansas Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for additional gay marriages in the state's most populous county while declaring that it would defer to the federal courts on whether Kansas' ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional.The Kansas court also declined to say...
US, gay, marriage, Kansas
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2014-09-18
Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 07:09 PM
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