Looks Like We’re Not [bigoted] in Kansas Anymore…

by Justin DeFreitas

by Justin DeFreitas

Well folks, Kansas is finally getting there.  County by county, they’re beginning to issue same-sex marriage licenses.  I am happy to announce that Olathe, Kansas began officially issuing same-sex marriage licenses after several stop-start decisions because of legal holds and petitions.  I was fortunate enough to talk with one of the couples that initially applied for a license on October 9, 2014.  They even had an informal ceremony performed by a minister offering his services to couples on the courthouse stairs.  Soon after, the Kansas Attorney General put a hold on all same-sex marriage licenses, although applications were still being accepted.  Kaci Campbell and Kim Garner filled out an application on October 9th, but by October 10th the Kansas Attorney General had already blocked any licenses from being issued.  Kaci said after the first delay that the attorney general “…thinks that the judge that allowed us to get marriage license is not qualified to make that kind of decision…If not for activist judges, women would have no rights, right? Slavery would not have been abolished, right? Thank you, Judge, for standing up for ALL individuals’ rights.”  Kaci and Kim were finally able to receive an actual license recently, on November 19.  She contacted me the night before and said “They lifted the ban today in Johnson County, so tomorrow I will finally go get license and be married by the end of the day. The news called and interviewed us tonight, on channel 9 tonight…”  She and Kim still plan “to have another ceremony because the last one wasn’t technically legal.”  I’m so excited for them to have the most fun, creative, and LEGAL ceremony they possibly can!  They are both beautiful, unique people, and I wish them all the best.

Now, while this is certainly great news, it’s not the end of the battle (even in Kansas).  The state of Kansas is still appealing the rights to same-sex marriage.  Although this probably won’t amount to any changes, it’s still something to be concerned about.  Until same-sex marriage is at the very least respected by everyone, it won’t be an easy world for any of us to live in.  Why is it so hard for people to just see love instead of gender and sex and all of the other things that should be secondary?

One Foot in and One Foot Out

by Tom Toles

by Tom Toles

Kansas is still fighting its losing battle against the allowance of gay marriages.  Really, they’re trying very hard to prevent it.  However, this week some counties finally began to issue marriage licenses this past week.  There are still many legal battles and confusion floating around, but apparently some places have had enough waiting.  What makes this battle interesting is that while some places are already issuing licenses, most places aren’t allowing legal name-changes, driver’s license updates, and other typical after-marriage chores.  Obviously, this is receiving a lot of interest and generating newly inflamed outrage.  If the marriages are being recognized, what is stopping the name changes?  How can these places pretend to support gay marriage if they only allow certain parts.  That is inequality just as much as banning gay marriage completely is.  All of this inconsistency seems to be aimed at driving this case directly back to the Supreme Court.  Frankly, at this point, the Supreme Court taking over and issuing an all-inclusive ruling would probably be the simplest solution.

Oh Kansas…

by Steve Benson

by Steve Benson

Yet again, Kansas has gotten within arm’s reach of issuing same-sex marriage licenses but then been blocked.  This time, a U.S. Justice by the name of Sonia Sotomayor issued a very last-minute stay (literally hours before licenses were set to begin being issued).  She is essentially clearing the way for gay marriage advocates to reply to the ban officially.  As far as I’m concerned, the Supreme Court has made it clear that bans on same-sex marriage won’t be tolerated.  Now we’re just dragging our feet.

Delayed but NOT Forgotten

By Christopher Weyant, referenced from Cagle Cartoons

By Christopher Weyant; referenced from Cagle Cartoons

If you’ve been keeping up with all of the drama and confusion regarding same-sex marriage happening in Kansas, as a result of the Supreme Court decisions (or lack thereof) in October, you know that the hearing was supposed to happen today.  That hearing has been delayed.  It opens a lane for more protests and political action to be taken from both sides.  Hopefully, by November 15th, everyone will be ready for some sort of concrete decision.  We can’t avoid progress forever.

Deeper than Deep

By Nate Beeler of the Columbus Dispatch

By Nate Beeler of the Columbus Dispatch

There have been several blogs where I have mentioned Kansas in regards to their same-sex marriage battles and confusion.  They’ve been waffling back and forth, and many people have very different standpoints still.  This article is the most in-depth coverage of their battles for LGBTQ rights and marriage rights I have ever seen.  Take a look; it’s everything you need to know.

SCOTUS Resonating

by Mike Keefe

by Mike Keefe

These last few weeks have been crucial to the fight for same sex marriage.  First, the Supreme Court tossed petitions against same-sex marriage.  Then, 6 more states had the opportunity to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  Now, the appeals and petitions have begun rolling in yet again.  Several of the states that had petitions have state-wide amendments banning same-sex marriage (many of them voter-approved).  This makes it tricky for same-sex marriage to move forward, even in light of recent Supreme Court decisions.  One state is making clear progress; Arizona.  A District Judge has ruled enforcing the statewide bans on same-sex marriage is not constitutional.  His reasoning was simply that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had already had similar rulings regarding Nevada and Idaho.  While I always love to hear judges rant about the injustices of these bans, I’m happy with both his decision and his explanation.  The fact that he felt there was little to say can actually be considered a little victory here.  He didn’t feel the need to explain himself or justify his decision, because it was simple and straightforward.  Same-sex marriage and it’s legality is incredibly simple; maybe Kansas will get the hint.