This Halloween could provide a number of treats for same-sex couples who wish to legally marry in Kansas; or it could result in an additional period of waiting, and delay tricks by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Gov. Sam Brownback and others who oppose the equality measure here.The ACLU ‘s lawsuit against the marriage ban on gay marriage in Kansas is set to be heard on Friday, Oct. 31 at 2:30 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse in Kansas City, Ks, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree, presiding.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit in behalf of two lesbian couples who were denied marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick Counties, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from 5 other states in the 10th Circuit Court, which were seeking to uphold the ban on same-sex marriages in their states. The state of Kansas is in the 10th Circuit Court, which also includes Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. All other states in the 10th Circuit have already begun to validate and perform gay marriages, except for Kansas. A total of 30 plus states in the country now recognize same-sex marriages.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, and Ks. Attorney General Derek Schmidt(R), both oppose same-sex marriage in Kansas and have vowed to fight it in court. Both men are seeking re-election to their state offices on Nov. 4. They cite a 2005 amendment to the Ks Constitution, approved by voters at that time, that defined marriage as “one man and one woman”, negating all other marriages in the state. Since that time, the issue of same-sex marriage has gained widespread support , both within the state and throughout the country. Several other states led the effort to allow and perform gay marriages, making it possible for gays to marry outside of Kansas. But, same-sex married couples are not yet recognized in their home state of Kansas, and this has made it difficult to afford them the same equal rights and benefits as any marriage allows.
Brownback and Schmidt have tried to make equal rights and gay marriage a campaign issue for this election season. They are stalling, trying every available tactic, filing frivolous lawsuits at the expense of Kansas taxpayers, in order to impose their own prejudiced personal and political ideologies on the citizens of this state. They are seeking to openly promote discrimination and divisiveness with their relentless pursuit to deny equal rights to ALL Kansans.
I would like to believe that Judge Crabtree will rule from the Bench on Friday, in support of equal rights, by issuing an injunction to block the marriage ban in Kansas. And I also believe Kansans are more enlightened and fair-minded than Gov. Brownback and AG Schmidt believe, and will vote to remove them from office on Nov. 4.