Same-sex marriage now legal in Kansas
The United States District Court today ruled that Kansas' ban of same-sex marriage is a violation of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The ruling states that Article 15, § 16 of the Kansas Constitution and K.S.A. §§ 23-2501 and 23-2508, and “any other Kansas statute, law, policy, or practice that excludes [p]laintiffs and other same-sex couples from marriage,” are in violation.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled that Kansas may not refuse to issue a marriage license on the grounds that the applicants are of the same sex. He did grant a temporary stay of injunction, allowing the state until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11 to appeal the case, unless it declares that it will not seek an appeal before then. The state must appeal the order to the Tenth Circuit, which has already ruled such marriage bans in other states unconstitutional.
The Tenth District Court heard the cases "Kitchen v. Herbert" and "Bishop v. Smith," which were challenges to discriminatory marriage laws in Utah and Oklahoma, respectively. The same three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit heard argument in Kitchen on April 10 and in Bishop on April 17. It ruled against the states' gay marriage bans in a 2-1 decision. On Oct. 6, the Supreme Court declined to take the state's challenge to the constitutionality of the decision, ending the matter.
“Kansas’ same-sex marriage ban does not differ in any meaningful respect from the Utah and Oklahoma laws the Tenth Circuit found unconstitutional,” Judge Crabtree wrote. “Because Tenth Circuit precedent is binding on this Court, Kitchen and Bishop dictate the result here."