Federal Judge Makes It Official: Same Sex Marriage Ban in Kansas Is Gone
August 10, 2015

(AP) – A federal judge has voided the Kansas ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree summarily ruled Monday that the provision in the Kansas constitution that prohibits issuing marriage licenses same-sex couples or recognizing such marriages violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That ruling also applies to any Kansas statute, law, policy or practice that bars or fails to recognize such unions.
But Crabtree stopped short of issuing a permanent injunction so as to give Kansas the opportunity to voluntarily comply, as its attorneys have assured the court they will do.
The court says some facts in the court record suggest Kansas officials have not uniformly complied with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

ACLU Still Wants Same Sex Marriage Ruling for Kansas
July 15, 2015

(AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that a federal court needs to directly strike down the same-sex marriage ban in Kansas in the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the issue.
Its latest filing Tuesday in the ongoing lawsuit opposes the state’s efforts to have the case simply dismissed as moot now that such marriages are recognized. It contends courts across the country have since implemented the Supreme Court’s decision by entering final judgments, not by dismissing cases.
A spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately respond Wednesday to emailed requests seeking comment.
The ACLU argued that neither the state’s governor nor its attorney general has issued any clear directives or statements that the state of Kansas acknowledges the binding effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Kansas Says Same Sex Married Couples Can File 2014 Joint Return
July 14, 2015

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback’s office says same-sex couples in Kansas who were married last year after the state’s ban was struck down in November can file joint taxes for the 2014 tax year.
Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said Tuesday that same-sex couples who filed for an extension on their 2014 taxes or want to go back and amend their taxes may file jointly.
The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1M3TEbx ) reports the Kansas Department of Revenue said Monday that couples would be able to file jointly for the current 2015 tax year. Hawley says the agency reviewed its policy and confirmed that gay couples also will be able to file jointly for 2014.
Equality Kansas executive director Tom Witt hailed Tuesday’s announcement, saying married couples should be allowed to file their taxes as married.

2 States, 2 Executive Orders from Kansas & Missouri
July 7, 2015

The Governors of Kansas and Missouri each issued executive orders Tuesday dealing with same sex marriages.
The orders, however, go in different directions.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed an order that he says protects clergy and religious organizations from “government infringement”.
“Today’s Executive Order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs,” Brownback said in a statement release by his office.
Brownback disagrees with the historic same sex ruling from the US Supreme Court at the end of last month.
The head of the American Civil Liberties Union for Kansas, Micah Kubic criticized Brownback’s order.
“Religious institutions have never been required to marry anyone outside their faith traditions,” Kubic said.
“Allowing same-sex couples to marry—as the U.S. Supreme Court has now ruled is the law of the land in all 50 states—does not change that in any way, and so today’s Executive Order is unnecessary,” he said.
In Missouri, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed an executive order directing all executive branches of Missouri government to comply with the Supreme Court opinion.
“Governor, I’m committed to protecting the rights of all Missourians, and that’s why this morning I am signing Executive Order 15-04 to ensure the Supreme Court’s ruling is implemented uniformly throughout state government,” Nixon said in a news release.

Brown back Considering Religous Objection Proposal After Gay Marriage Ruling
July 2, 2015

(AP) – Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s considering proposing a new religious objections law for Kansas following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage across the nation.

Brownback on Thursday also defended the state’s refusal so far to allow gay and lesbian spouses to change their last names on driver’s licenses or to file joint income tax returns. The governor said his administration wants to make sure such changes are handled correctly.

Brownback has been a strong supporter of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage that was reinforced by a 2005 amendment to the Kansas Constitution.

The governor said religious liberties need to be protected. As for legislation next year, he said, “We’re looking at that.”

Gay-rights leader Tom Witt said Brownback is defying the high court ruling.