Kansas remains one of the US states where battles continue to be waged over same-sex marriage.
The US Supreme Court announced in early October that it declined to review pending same-sex marriage bans in several US states.
This paved the way for same-sex marriage in states such as Virginia and Wisconsin, among others, and sent out a clear signal to lawmakers elsewhere that should they continue to fight same-sex marriage in the courts, they would ultimately be disappointed should they get to the Supreme Court.
The message clearly didn’t get through to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback [pictured], who has repeatedly said that he fight same-sex marriage.
Brownback, a Republican, has repeatedly cited the that a majority of Kansas voters, ‘amended the Constitution to include a definition of marriage as one man and one woman.’
Brownback has consistently voted against gay rights and has previously said that he considers ‘homosexual acts’ to be immoral.
In early November, a federal judge struck down the Kansas same-sex marriage ban. The Supreme Court lifted a temporary stay on same-sex marriage in the state following the federal judge’s ruling. Dozens of couples have since successfully applied for marriage licenses.
Tom Witt, with Equality Kansas, told KWCH that around two-thirds of Kansas’ counties are now issuing licenses, but the remainder are not.
In its continued fight to retain the ban, Kansas – as represented by its Attorney General Derek Schmidt – then asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for an en banc hearing on the case. This is when a case is heard before all the judges of the court, and not just a selected panel: 12 judges instead of three. Schmidt contests that the state’s ban is not unconstitutional
Yesterday afternoon, the 10th Circuit – in a brief and blunt missive – refused the state of Kansas’ request. It basically said that not a single judge polled thought the request worthy of consideration.
Schmidt can now take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Should this happen, and given its previous October ruling, most commentators believe that the Supreme Court will not rule in favor of a ban on same-sex marriage being returned, paving the way for same-sex marriage in every county throughout the state.