ACLU revises Kansas same-sex marriage lawsuit to raise new claims

Kansas has asked the court to dismiss as moot the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the ban. ROXANA HEGEMAN [ap]

Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. — The American Civil Liberties Union revised on Wednesday its lawsuit over gay marriage in Kansas to include claims that the state is refusing to recognize unions performed in Kansas and other states.

The group’s amended complaint seeks to force the state to recognize same-sex marriages for spousal health insurance benefits, state tax filing purposes and driver’s license name changes.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month blocked Kansas from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriages while the lawsuit proceeds in federal court. Same-sex couples in Kansas have since been marrying in some but not all of the state’s 105 counties.

“We are very disappointed the state has continued to play this obstruction game,” ACLU attorney Doug Bonney said. “The time is here to recognize the marriages as valid and lawful just like any other marriage. ”

The ACLU initially sued Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser and court officials in two counties; the latest filing adds officials with the Kansas Department of Revenue and its Division of Vehicles and KDHE’s director of the state employee health plan, Mike Michael.

Jennifer Rapp, the spokeswoman for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, said the office does not represent the new defendants and had no new comment.

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Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who has vowed to uphold the state’s ban on same-sex nuptials, has said in the past that his vigorous defense of the state’s gay marriage ban is designed to get a final decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Department of Revenue, which also oversees the motor vehicle division, declined to comment on the pending litigation. KDHE did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration has said that it will not make any policy changes to recognize same-sex couples…

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