ACLU Calls For Kansas To Remove Laws Against Gay Marriage

| by Maura Turcotte

Even though the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage, the American Civil Liberties Union is still going after states to strike down their gay marriage bans.

In Kansas, the organization has filed a lawsuit against the state’s bans on same-sex marriage that were in place before the Supreme Court’s ruling. Even though the Kansas legislature claims the state has recognized marriages since that historic decision, the ACLU believes that its moot statutes should still be explicitly cut to prevent any further confusion, reports the Lawrence Journal-World.

"There is essentially no direction and confusion on recognition of same-sex marriages in Kansas, and that is a problem," said ACLU legal director Doug Bonney, reports the Lawrence Journal-World. "It is fairly clear the state of Kansas wants to do the absolute bare minimum recognition of these marriages that is possible and still be able to make some kind of claim that they are in compliance."

Additionally, in their filing, the ACLU compared the reactions of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to those of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. In response to the same-sex marriage ruling, Nixon issued an executive order for all groups, departments, and agencies to comply. However, Brownback’s reaction was to issue an executive order on the rights of religious organizations to be able to refuse to participate in same-sex marriages, the Lawrence Journal-World states.

Nonetheless, sticking to the claim that the state is following the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, Kansas has asked the case to be dismissed in the court, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.

Other states have struggled with the groundbreaking ruling: In Texas, a second county clerk has stepped down in response to the legalization of same-sex marriage, reports the Texas Observer.

“Due to the latest Supreme Court decision which is contrary to my personal beliefs, I cannot uphold the oath which I made when I took office,” stated Karen Irving, the county clerk of Live Oak, according to the Texas Observer.  

Yet, while many may see this as a negative reaction, Daniel Williams of Equality Texas thinks otherwise.

“I think they should be applauded for doing exactly what we want our government officials to do, which is to put the public before their own interests,” Williams said to the Texas Observer. “That is a triumph of democracy.”

Source: AP via Lawrence Journal-World, Texas Observer / Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons