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Religious Tolerance logo

Attaining same-sex marriage and equal rights for the Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) community in Kansas

Part 3 of 8: 2014-OCT: Reactions to same-sex
marriage
ban. Married couple unsuccessfully
applies for intervener status. Court hearing
rescheduled.

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This essay is continued from the previous essay

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2014-OCT-10: Reactions to the Kansas government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages:

Tom Witt is the executive director of Equality Kansas’ -- a pro-equality group. He issued a statement saying that the Governor and Attorney General:

"... need to stop playing election-year politics with people’s lives and allow these legal marriages to proceed. ... The federal courts have ruled, and we all know how this will end. ... Delaying the inevitable is a waste of time and taxpayer money, and a gross injustice to LGBT Kansans and their families." 1

Senate President Susan Wagle (R) said:

"Judge Moriarty is playing the role of antagonist, with the goal of provoking another federal lawsuit." 1

"Vince," "Taz," and, "ksliberal" wrote comments to a report by KSN Channel 3 News. 2 They took conflicting points of view:

  • "Vince" posted a comment about the Kansas constitutional amendment that bans marriage equality:

    "Thank-you Attorney General Derek Schmidt for upholding the law."

  • "Taz" responded with some strongly worded language:

    "Oh you mean the law that violates the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution on its face and should have never gone to the voters in the first place? The law that has absolutely no chance of standing a challenge in light of the SCOTUS decision earlier ...[in 2013] that declared DOMA unconstitutional? The law whose passing simply goes to show that most Kansans are bigoted ignorant hypocrites? That law? You're okay with this state wasting MORE taxpayer money on a court case that serves no purpose other than to flaunt this state's record of bigotry at a national level?"

  • "Vince" replied:

    "No, I mean the law that states marriage is between one man and one woman. It's really simple, if you think about it."

  • "ksliberal" posted:

    "For those that do not know, the Federal Bill of Rights trumps the State Bill of Rights. When the State has rights that are more limiting than the Federal rights then the Supreme Court can direct the State to comply. It was this ruling that ended school segregation in Brown vs Topeka Board of Education years ago. It is not Federal overreach, it is actually the State of Kansas overreach in denying rights that have been Federally guaranteed under the Constitution for the last 200 years." 1

In case someone doesn't know, the federal Bill of Rights are the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. "ksliberal" seems to have stretched them out to include the first 14 amendments.

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2014-OCT-22: An opposite-sex married couple files request for intervenor status in Kansas federal District Court:

Lawyer Phillip Unruh and his wife Sandra Unruh have filed a motion to intervene as defendants in opposition to the case Kail Marie et al. v. Robert Moser et al. That is a lawsuit seeking marriage equality in Kansas. Their complaint alleges that if same-sex couples are able to legally marry in the state that:

"... the meaning of marriage will be so fundamentally and profoundly changed that the Unruh’s will experience a taking of their property rights in marriage without due process of law." 3

They claim these rights under the 4th and 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The motion states that:

"The extension of marriage to same sex relationships inflicts profound harm on the Unruhs. For the court to say that from this day forward marriage in Kansas must be extended to same sex couple is and for ever will be deeply disturbing to the Unrahs and undoubtedly to those that cared enough to pass an amendment [to the Kansas Constitution] to protect it, a departure from the joy and celebration normally associated with the word marriage. Disturbed, not because of bigotry, but out of solemn respect for what marriage is, what it has meant to them and to socieity in general. Marriage is perhaps the single most valuable institution society has ever had. The standards established by marriage and its exclusive nature enjoyed by the Unruhs can not be ignored or impaired iwthout funadamental civil rights of the Unruhs being disturbed and married people being discriminated against." 4

[Spelling errors uncorrected from the original.]

Their filing includes reference to the Bible passage at Genesis 2:24. The King James Version of the Bible translates the original Hebrew as:

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Theologians differ as to the exact meaning of this passages. Some believe that it defines the only biblically acceptable form of marriage: that between one woman and one man. Others suggest that since the Bible talks extensively about one man marrying multiple women, that Genesis 2:24 refers to only one form of permissible marriage. There appear to be at least eight family/marriage types mentioned in the Bible. Solomon appears to hold the record with 700 wives and 300 concubines.

The Unruh's also claim that opposite-sex couples have the sole right to marry because only they can, by themselves without outside help, conceive and bear children. In order to add children to a family lead by a two women, the parents would have to engage in artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization using donated sperm in the same way that many infertile opposite-sex couples do. Adding children to a family led by two men would require a woman to act as a surrogate mother, again like some infertile opposite-sex couples do.

Kyler Geoffroy, writing for the LGBT-positive news source Towleroad refers to the petition as being perhaps:

"... the craziest argument made against gay marriage this month." 5

Towleroad has a copy of their petition on its web site. 5

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2014-OCT-23: Hearing before U.S. District Court cancelled:

A hearing in the lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Kansas that was scheduled for OCT-24 was rescheduled by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree. There had been insufficient time for the ACLU to review the briefs filed by the state before the scheduled hearing. Judge Crabtree will decide whether to reschedule the hearings for another date, or decide the case based on briefs filed by the plaintiffs and defendants.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are two lesbian couples who had requested marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick counties, and had been denied. 6

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2014-OCT-24: Request for intervener status by opposite-sex couple denied:

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree denied the Unruh couple their request to join the case. He ruled that the Office of the Attorney General of Kansas already represented their interests. He invited the couple to file a friend-of-the-court brief instead. 7

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This topic is continued in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Kansas seeks to block county gay marriage licenses," ksn.com, 2014=OCT-10, at: http://ksn.com/
  2. "Drive underway to oust judge in gay marriage case," KSN News, 2014-OCT-25, at: http://ksn.com/
  3. David Badash, "Same-Sex Marriage Is Theft Of Different-Sex Marriage Says Straight Couple In Federal Court Filing," The New Civil Rights Movement, 2014-OCT-23, at: http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/
  4. Phillip W. Uhruh and Sandra L. Unruh's motion to intervene as defendants, Case 1:14-cv-02518-DDC-TJJ," Scribd, 2014-OCT-22, at: https://www.scribd.com/
  5. Kyler Geoffroy, "Kansas straight couple files insane brief arguing gay marriage would steal their marriage away," Towleroad, 2014-OCT-23, at: http://www.towleroad.com/
  6. "Kansas same-sex marriage hearing cancelled, judge may rule or reschedule," LGBTQNATION, 2014-OCT-23, at: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/
  7. "Judge nixes opposite-sex couple’s bid to intervene in Kansas gay marriage case," LGBTQNATION, 2014-OCT-24, at: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/
  8. Brad Cooper, "Campaign is launched to oust Johnson County judge who cleared the way for same-sex marriage," Kansas City Star, 2014-OCT-24, at: http://www.kansascity.com/

Site navigation: Home > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > Kansas > here

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2014-OCT-11
Last updated 2014-NOV-04
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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