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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!
The following counties are issuing marriage licenses:
These counties are not issuing licenses:
And these counties won’t say one way or the other: