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Brownback Still Not Implementing Changes After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Matthew Long-Middleton

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week on same-sex marriage has yet to spur Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback into action on the issue.

On Tuesday, Brownback’s office reiterated what he said after Friday’s ruling – that he is reviewing the decision — but state agencies reported that officials aren’t making changes based on the decision.

“Our office is fully reviewing and analyzing the ruling in order to understand the implications and policy changes in order to follow and comply with the law,” said Melika Willoughby, Brownback’s deputy communications director.

Willoughby would not say when agencies would begin complying with the law, if ever.

Brownback did much the same thing last November when he wouldn’t recognize the marriages already being performed in the state after a federal appellate court ruling.

Without movement from the governor's office, same-sex couples can’t get on a spouse’s state worker health plan, be eligible for Medicaid benefits or get their names changed on a driver’s license.

Tom Witt of Equality Kansas was furious about the delay, saying it was time for Brownback to recognize “that marriage equality is the law of the land.”

But Witt was heartened by news Tuesday that all Kansas counties were issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

“Every chief judge in this state recognizes this is the law of the land,” he said. “Now it’s the governor’s turn.”

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