Attaining same-sex marriage and equal rights for the Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) community in Kansas
2005 to now: The timeline towards
marriage equality in the state of Kansas.
2005 to 2015-JUL: The path towards same-sex marriage in Kansas:
- 2005: A 70% majority of voters passed Amendment 1 -- also called the Kansas Marriage Amendment -- to the state Constitution. It banned marriage by same-sex couples.
- Same-sex marriages remained unavailable in the state. Same-sex marriages solemnized out of state were not recognized in Kansas.
- A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision upholding an Utah District Court decision legalizing SSM.
- 2014-JUL-25: A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a second decision upholding an Oklahoma District Court decision legalizing SSM.
- 2014-AUG-05: The state of Utah appealed its case to the U.S. Supreme Court. More details.
- 2014-AUG-06: The state of Oklahoma appealed its case to the U.S. Supreme Court. More details.
- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant both appeals. That left the decisions of the 10th Circuit Court as final established law. Same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses immediately in both Oklahoma and Utah.
- The 10th Circuit Court has jurisdiction over four additional states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
- There are two views of reality among politicians about the significance of a Circuit Court ruling that has been made final:
- Some see the law as immediately applicable across all of the states within the Circuit Court's jurisdiction. Since same-sex marriage was already available in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah, that would mean that marriage equality would also become law in Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. State government leaders in Colorado accepted this point of view, and same-sex couples there started to pick up their marriage licenses on OCT-07.
- Other state government leaders refuse to see the law as binding on their state. They noted that there was no specific lawsuit from their state that was upheld by the 10th Circuit Court. Thus they reasoned that their same-sex marriage ban was still valid. Government leaders in in Kansas and Wyoming promoted this point of view. In both cases, government leaders concluded that a new lawsuit would have to be filed in federal court in their state leading a final court ruling that requires marriage equality. Only then would they allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in their state.
- Many people find it strange that politicians have such fundamentally different views of how courts operate in their states. However, this is reality. And as long as the public continues to be generally uninformed on such matters, there are few people willing to openl criticize their state leadership.
- 2014-OCT-17: District Court Judge Scott Skavdahlin in Wyoming ruled in a new case "Guzzo v. Mead" that the Wyoming ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional because it violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
- 2014-OCT-21: The Oklahoma Governor, Attorney General and Legislature decided to not appeal the District Court's ruling. Same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses.
- 2014-OCT-26: The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court involving a group of same-sex plaintiff couples who want to marry in Kansas.
- 2014-NOV-04 to 07: U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas ruled in the case Marie v. Moser that the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Thus, same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in Kansas. He imposed a temporary stay to his ruling for a week to allow the state to appeal his decision. Attorney General Derek Schmidt notified the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that he is appealing District Judge Crabtree's ruling. He asked that the appeal be heard by the full 'en banc" circuit Court. The 10th Circuit Court refused to stay Judge Crabtree's ruling. Attorney General Schmidt then asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay in order to prevent loving, committed same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses on NOV-11.
On NOV-07, in an apparent violation of Judge Crabtree's ruling, same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licneses in Jackson County. KS, which includes Kansas City
- 2014-NOV-08 to 13: After a series of stays, Kansas finally ran out of options. Marriage equality comes to the state, making it the th jurisdiction (including the District of Columbia and 34 states) to legalize same-sex marriage. However, many same-sex couples have to go to a nearby state to obtain a marriage license.
- 2015-JUN: The U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. Marriage equality spreads across the United States.
- 2015-JUL: Governor Brownback issues executive order to protect faith groups and religious organizations who want to discriminate against same-sex couples. Mixed reactions to the executive order.
- 2015-2019: Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) signed an executive order protecting some LGBT government employees from discrimination. This was cencelled by a subsequent Republican governor and reinstated by the current Democratic governor.
Topics about marriage equality in Kansas that are discussed in this section:
- Part 1: A U.S. Supreme Court decision will require Kansas to implement marriage equality. However, the state administration firmly resists
- Part 2: Kansas firmly resists marriage equality. One same-sex couple were actually married. ACLU launches lawsuit in federal court
- Part 3: Reactions to same-sex marriage ban. Opposite-sex couple applies for intervenor status
- Part 4: Westboro Baptist Church applies for intervener status. Attempts to oust liberal judges fail. District Court rules in favor of marriage equality. Kansas appeals ruling
- Part 5: 2014-OCT: Attempts to oust liberal judges. Westboro Baptist Church applies as intervener. Attempts to oust judges fail. Case is appealed to 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- Part 6: 2014-NOV: Request for stay by 10th Circuit Court fails. U.S. Supreme Court creates and ends stay. Marriage equality finally
comes to Kansas, sort of
- Part 7: 2014-NOV to 2015-JUL: Marriage equality finally came to some, but not all, counties in Kansas.U.S. Supreme Court legalizes gay marriages across the U.S. Implications in Kansas. Governor signs executive order protecting religious groups that want to discriminate
- Part 8: 2015-JUL: Governor signs executive order protecting religious groups that want to discriminate (Cont'd). Reactions.
- Part 9: 2015 to 2019: Executive order cancelled and then reinstated. Bill introduced in Legislature to lower status of same-sex marriages, etc.
Copyright © 2014 & 2015 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally posted: 2014-OCT-26
Last updated 2015-JUL-24
Author: Bruce A Robinson