KCK mayor Holland: “One of the Great Civil Rights Moments”
June 26, 2015

KCK Mayor Mark Holland’s statement:
“I celebrate today with our LGBT brothers and sisters all over America at the Supreme Court’s historic decision legalizing marriage for ALL people! This is one of the great civil rights moments in our nation as we finally recognize that marriage is an institution based on love and should be available to everyone.

The United States has always been a beacon of light for freedom and equality to the world. At a time when LGBT persons face discrimination, hatred, and even death in other countries, the United States now stands tall as a leader for justice.

Let us now commit ourselves to the ongoing work of justice for others who remain the least, the last, and the lost, because, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

Cleaver Calls Ruling a “Momentous Day” for LGBT Community
June 26, 2015

Kansas City Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver:
“Ever since the wedding at Cana, Jesus taught us that the main thing and the plain thing was love,” said Congressman Cleaver, II. “Today that is still true. What a momentous day for the LGBT community, and for their friends and families who celebrate today across our great country. The Supreme Court has affirmed their humanity. As the majority opinion states, ‘No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.’ This decision is a an important step toward ending the invidious indignity of discrimination faced by too many families, based solely on where they live and who they love. As a minister, it has been a privilege to preside over many marriages and civil unions, to usher two people down a path of love and devotion. Today, that path is open to all people, no matter who they love.”

SCOTUS Takes Same Sex Marriage Case. Ruling Expected in June
January 16, 2015

(AP) – Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.
The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to overturn bans in four states and declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.
Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
That number is nearly double what it was just three months ago, when the justices initially declined to hear gay marriage appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on same-sex marriage. The effect of the court’s action in October was to make final several pro-gay rights rulings in the lower courts.
Now there are just 14 states in which same-sex couples cannot wed. The court’s decision to get involved is another marker of the rapid change that has redefined societal norms in the space of a generation.
The appeals before the court come from gay and lesbian plaintiffs in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The federal appeals court that oversees those four states upheld their same-sex marriage bans in November, reversing pro-gay rights rulings of federal judges in all four states. It was the first, and so far only, appellate court to rule against same-sex marriage since the high court’s 2013 decision.
Ten other states also prohibit such unions. In Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota and Texas, judges have struck down anti-gay marriage laws, but they remain in effect pending appeals. In Missouri, same-sex couples can marry in St. Louis and Kansas City only
John County, Kansas and Douglas County kansas have also permitted same sex couples to marry.
Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt continues to challenge lower Kansas court rulings dismissing the state’s ban on same sex marriage

Kansas AG Schmidt Says SCOTUS Same Sex Marriage Announcement Does Not Clear the Question
October 6, 2014

Here is Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s Statement regarding the US Supreme Courts announcement on not hearing some same sex cases in this term.
“Today’s unexpected and disappointing decision to avoid the issue ensures that an already uncertain legal situation for Kansas and many other states will become even more so. It is likely the Supreme Court eventually will have to decide this question, but until then this delay is sure to generate more litigation and more uncertainty both for defenders of traditional marriage and for same-sex couples. To date, no Court has squarely decided whether the Kansas Constitution’s prohibition on same-sex marriage — adopted by voters less than a decade ago — is invalid.

“My office is consulting with the Governor’s office and with other states affected, directly or indirectly, by today’s decision and will deal with pending or future litigation directly affecting the Kansas constitutional provision as it may come. We are also closely watching ongoing litigation in the Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh federal circuit courts of appeal that could again present the Supreme Court a request to decide this question with finality during its current term.”

SCOTUS Rules for Hobby Lobby
June 30, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that for-profit employers with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare.

The decision could open the door to other employers seeking to withhold coverage for other medical procedures at odds with firm religious beliefs.