Critics Charge Kobach’s Voter Law is Voter Repression
September 2, 2015

AP) – An American Civil Liberties Union attorney says Kansas law doesn’t give Secretary of State Kris Kobach the authority to remove thousands of names from the state’s voter registration rolls.
And another critic accused the Republican secretary of state Wednesday of trying to keep potential Democratic voters from casting ballots, which Kobach’s spokesman disputed.
ACLU of Kansas attorney Doug Bonney and Topeka National Organization for Women leader Sonja Willms said during a hearing that Kobach should drop a proposed administrative rule.
The rule would require county election officials to cancel incomplete registrations after 90 days. About 36,000 registrations are now incomplete. Most are because prospective votes have failed to document their U.S. citizenship.
Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell said the rule would make administering voting more orderly

Kansas Voter Lawsuit Advances
August 26, 2015

(AP) – A Kansas judge is allowing two voters to continue pursuing a lawsuit challenging how Secretary of State Kris Kobach is enforcing a proof of citizenship requirement for registering.
Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis (Tice) also suggested in an order that Kobach exceeded his authority in declaring that voters who use a federal form to register can cast ballots only in federal races. The federal form does not require proof of citizenship.
Theis issued an order last week rejecting Kobach’s request to decide the case in his favor before a trial. But the judge also didn’t block Kobach from enforcing the law as he has for more than a year.
ACLU attorney Julie Ebenstein on Wednesday called the ruling encouraging. Kobach said it’s still very early in the lawsuit

ACLU Tells SCOTUS Stay on Kansas Same Sex Marriage Hurts Families
November 11, 2014

(AP) – Civil liberties attorneys are telling the U.S. Supreme Court that delaying gay marriage in Kansas will harm same-sex couples and their families.

The American Civil Liberties Union responded to a request from Kansas to the court to maintain the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Justice Sonia Sotomayor directed the ACLU to respond by Tuesday afternoon.

The state wants to enforce its ban while the federal courts review a lawsuit filed by the ACLU for two lesbian couples.

A federal judge last week ordered the state to stop enforcing its ban as of 5 p.m. CST Tuesday, but Kansas appealed to the nation’s highest court.

Sotomayor on Monday put the judge’s order on hold.

Same Sex Couples Married Out of State Want Missouri Recognition
September 25, 2014

Five same sex marriage couples asked a Jackson County judge to order the state of Missouri to recognize their out-of-state marriages.
The couple went to court seeking Judge Dale Youngs to order the state to recognize the their marriages. All the couples say there were married in states or places where same sex marriages are legal.
”My marriage should be recognized, just like anyone else who got married in Iowa, New York or Vancouver, like us,” said Andy Schuerman, who also with is partner Jim McDonald are plaintiffs in the suit.
The couple has a young daughter, Grace, who was fathered by Schuerman and couple adopted her.
They say they spent thousand going through the adoption procedures. They say it was a lt more moey that if the adoption had been authorized for a man and woman couple.
In 2004, Missouri overwhelming voted to add an amendment to the state constitution declaring marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
A lawyer representing the state, Jeremiah Morgan made sure Judge Youngs recalled that vote by mentioning right at the start of his argument. He also noted that it well established law that that states determine their own marriage statutes.
Another similar court case, which directly attacks the 2004 amendment banning same sex marriages in Missouri is making its way through the federal courts and is approaching a hearing.
Same sex couple often complain they are treated as second class citizens because of the marital status.
‘In the event of the death of one of us, we are not entitled to the benefits that any different sex couple would be awarded,” said rsandy short when asked by reporters for an example of how same saex couples do not have the same benefits offered to them.
Short and his partner both work for the city of Kansas City, Missouri. Three city employees are plaintiffs in the case.
While Kansas City is a named defendant in the case, it was hard to tell in the courtroom.
An attorney for the city Tara Kelly, told the court the city tries to do all it legally can to accommodate and recognize same sex couples. Kelly even acknowledged that the city’s domestic register is misleading because it has couple register as merely living together when many are joined by out-of-state marriages.
Judge Youngs said he would rule as soon as possible. He also acknowledged that no matter what he rules the case will not be over. The losing side is sure to appeal.

ACLU FilesLawsuit Calling for Missouri to Recognize Out-of -State Same Sex Marriages
February 12, 2014

(AP) – Missouri joined the growing list of states facing legal challenges to their gay marriage bans Wednesday, when the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit seeking to force it to recognize the out-of-state marriages of several same-sex couples.

ACLU of Missouri attorney Toney Rothert said current state law makes gay couples “legal strangers in their home state.” He spoke in St. Louis at one of four news conferences to announce the lawsuit, which was filed in state court in Kansas City.

At around the time ACLU lawyers were discussing their case in Missouri, a federal judge in Kentucky was issuing a ruling striking down part of that state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage and ordering Kentucky to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. A Louisiana gay rights group also filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to force that state to recognize out-of-state gay marriages.Q

The Missouri lawsuit stops short of asking the courts to allow gay marriage in the state. Rothert said the ACLU has a “50-state strategy” to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage, but he declined to say if or when legal action will be taken seeking to force Missouri to do so.

Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, a longtime biology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said she repeatedly has been denied benefits for her spouse, Arlene Zarembka, because the university abides by Missouri’s legal standard for marriage as being only possible between a man and woman. The couple has been together for 31 years and got married in Canada in 2005