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Marriage Update – January 26, 2015

Greetings all –

In the past few weeks, two more judicial districts – the 1st and the 6th – have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Welcome Atchison, Leavenworth, Miami, Linn and Bourbon counties to the list!

As we reported on January 16, the US Supreme Court will be taking up the marriage question and settling this issue once and for all.  Until then, marriage recognition in the Sunflower State remains inconsistent at best.

The good news:  Fifty-nine of Kansas’ 105 counties are known to be issuing licenses, which represents 2.4 million of Kansas’ 2.9 million residents.  Over 3/4 of our state’s population now live in counties where they may freely and without discrimination obtain a marriage license.  Of course, people who live in counties not issuing licenses may, if you wish, go to one of the counties that are, apply, and return three days later to pick up your license.  You may then marry anywhere in Kansas, whether your county is issuing licenses or not.

The bad news:  Governor Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt are still digging in their heels, refusing to recognize what is increasingly obvious: the inevitability of marriage equality for all Kansas, and indeed our entire nation.  All state agencies, with the exception of Kansas Department of Health and Environment, are still refusing to recognize the validity of legal marriages legally performed in Kansas and elsewhere.  This means you still cannot update your drivers’ licenses, you still cannot file your Kansas taxes as married, and so on.

It’s important to remember that the actual trial in our members’ lawsuit against the State of Kansas has not yet occurred.  We are living under a “preliminary injunction” issued by Federal District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree.  That injunction specifically prohibits KDHE, and Sedgwick and Douglas counties, from enforcing the Kansas bans on same-sex marriage recognition.  The State of Kansas requests to stay Crabtree’s injunction have been turned down by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.  Other counties across Kansas are issuing marriage licenses at the discretion of their Chief Judges, who were advised in November by the Kansas Supreme Court it was up to them how to interpret the various Federal district and appellate court rulings.

Tomorrow, January 27th, Judge Crabtree will be having a conference call with the AG’s office and with the ACLU attorneys representing Equality Kansas members.  Our understanding is that tomorrow’s call is to set the schedule for proceeding to trial in the Kansas case.

Meanwhile, oral arguments in the US Supreme Court case are likely to be heard in April.

The Equality Kansas office has gotten a lot of questions regarding the filing of income taxes.  Later today or tomorrow we will be posting what we believe are the best options for filing taxes in Kansas.

Until then, here’s the map and list of counties that are issuing licenses.  Enjoy!

Marriage Licenses by County1-26-2015

The following counties are issuing marriage licenses:

Allen
Atchison
Barton
Bourbon
Brown
Chase
Cherokee
Clark
Clay
Cloud
Comanche
Cowley
Crawford
Dickinson
Doniphan
Douglas
Ellis
Ellsworth
Ford
Geary
Gove
Grant
Gray
Harvey
Haskell
Jewell
Johnson
Kiowa
Labette
Leavenworth
Lincoln
Linn
Lyon
Marion
Marshall
McPherson
Meade
Miami
Mitchell
Morris
Morton
Nemaha
Neosho
Republic
Rice
Riley
Rooks
Russell
Sedgwick
Seward
Shawnee
Stafford
Stanton
Stevens
Trego
Washington
Wilson
Woodson
Wyandotte

These counties are not issuing licenses:

Butler
Cheyenne
Elk
Greenwood
Jackson
Jefferson
Logan
Ottawa
Pottawatomie
Rawlins
Reno
Saline
Sheridan
Sherman
Thomas
Wabaunsee
Wallace

And these counties won’t say one way or the other:

Anderson
Barber
Chautauqua
Coffey
Decatur
Edwards
Finney
Franklin
Graham
Greeley
Hamilton
Harper
Hodgeman
Kearny
Kingman
Lane
Montgomery
Ness
Norton
Osage
Osborne
Pawnee
Phillips
Pratt
Rush
Scott
Smith
Sumner
Wichita

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