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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Same-Sex Marriage To Proceed In Kansas

Same-sex marriages will be allowed to go forward in Kansas.

That comes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wednesday not to block the marriages while a lawsuit over the issue waits before an appeals court.

Kerry Wilks, from Wichita, and her partner Donna are parties in the lawsuit. She says she was thrilled to hear the news.

"I had hoped for this and I was kind of expecting it, you know you want to think that the right thing is going to happen. It still is a really nice feeling to see that verified and know that so many people are going to have the opportunity to have access to a basic civil right like marriage," says Wilks.

She hopes this will be a step towards a cultural change that reduces discrimination against the LGBT community, she says.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt has argued that this would only affect the two Kansas counties involved in the suit, Douglas and Sedgwick. In a statement, he suggested this decision applies to just those counties. But University of Kansas Law Professor Richard Levy says allowing same sex marriages in Kansas would seemingly have a wider impact than just two counties.

"If it's overturned for one county, it's because it's null and void. And if it's null and void, then it's null and void for all counties," says Levy.

There's probably still some legal wrangling ahead before the issue of same sex marriage in Kansas is settled. Attorney General Derek Schmidt pointed out in his statement that the case is still on appeal.

Gov. Sam Brownback says he will consult with Schmidt about ways to continue defending the Kansas ban on same-sex marriage.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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