Americans for Marriage Equality

State ResourcesKansas

Status: Marriage Equality

On October 10, 2014, the ACLU filed the case Marie v. Moser challenging the state’s ban on marriage rights for same-sex couples. The case was filed on behalf of two lesbian couples denied marriage licenses in the state. The ACLU is asking the federal court to apply the Tenth Circuit’s rulings in Bishop and Herbert to bring marriage equality to Kansas. On November 4, Federal judge Daniel Crabtree blocked Kansas’ ban on marriage rights for same-sex couples, following the precedent set by the Tenth Circuit in Utah and Oklahoma. After being denied a stay on the ruling by the Tenth Circuit, state officials appealed to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who granted a temporary stay on November 10.

On November 12, the Supreme Court lifted the temporary stay on. Of the nine justices on the Court, only Justices Scalia and Thomas voted to keep the stay in place. On November 13, Kansas county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kansas v. Moriarty was filed on October 10, 2014 by the state Attorney General Derek Schmidt in order to block state Judge Kevin Moriarty from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moriarty told a county clerk to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear cases from fellow Tenth Circuit states, Oklahoma and Utah. On November 5, the state supreme court postponed the hearing indefinitely pending a decision in the case Marie v. Moser. After a ruling was issued in the federal court case, the state Supreme Court heard the Moriarty case on November 17. The next day the court cleared the way for marriages in Johnson County (where the lawsuit originated) and said that it would defer its ruling to the federal courts when it comes to deciding the state's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. 

In Nelson v. Kansas Department of Revenue, two same-sex couples are asking the state to recognize their valid out-of-state marriages for the purposes of jointly filing their taxes. The lawsuit was filed in late December 2013.