The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday blocked temporarily the
issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kansas, but
said couples could file applications, and the ACLU of Kansas filed a
lawsuit challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.
"I shouldn't have to leave my state to get a basic civil right," one
of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit, Kerry Wilks, had told Reuters
on Tuesday. "This is part of a larger issue - it's about basic
equality for gays and lesbians."
The Kansas Supreme Court set oral arguments for Nov. 6 and asked
attorneys in part to address whether a judge in Johnson County, the
state's most populous, was correct in ordering clerks to issue
marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The judge issued his order Wednesday based on a U.S. Supreme Court
decision not to review a U.S. appeals court ruling that struck down
bans on gay marriage in other states.
The Kansas attorney general had asked the state Supreme Court to
nullify the Johnson County judge's order and to order that no other
licenses be issued.
Amid the debate, two women wed Friday in front of the Johnson County
courthouse, District Court Clerk Sandy McCurdy said. McCurdy did not
release their names.
They were the only same-sex couple who had sought a marriage license
on Tuesday, McCurdy said. They received their license on Friday
following the three-day waiting period required under Kansas law,
and were married quickly.
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Fifty-two same-sex couples had sought marriage licenses as of Friday
afternoon in Johnson County, McCurdy said.
Kansas bans same-sex
marriage by state law and its state constitution, a position
expected to be overturned following a U.S. Supreme Court decision on
The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review U.S. appeals court
decision striking down bans in Oklahoma and Utah, which are in the
same U.S. appeals court circuit as Kansas, meaning the state is
bound by that court's rulings.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Additional reporting by Alice Mannette
in Wichita, Kansas; Editing by David Gregorio and Richard Borsuk)
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