The legal situation in Kansas is complicated by a separate case before the Kansas Supreme Court, which Schmidt filed last month… He persuaded the Kansas court to block marriage licenses for same-sex couples while his case is heard.
Schmidt’s case came after one county – prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court action last month – issued a license to a lesbian couple. The couple quickly wed, becoming the only known same-sex Kansas couple to do so.
Marriage licenses in Kansas are issued by district court clerks’ offices after a mandatory three-day wait.
Schmidt has promised to defend the state’s gay-marriage ban in court as long as he can, and fellow Republican Gov. Sam Brownback issued a statement suggesting he’s not giving up on defending the policy. Voters in 2005 overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Kansas Constitution against same-sex marriage.
Article continues below“I swore an oath to support the Constitution of the State of Kansas,” Brownback said in a statement. “I will review this ruling with the attorney general and see how best we continue those efforts.”
In South Carolina, state Attorney General Alan Wilson promised to appeal the ruling against his state’s ban from U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel. The judge put his order on hold until noon Nov. 20.
“Today’s ruling comes as no surprise and does not change the constitutional obligation of this office to defend South Carolina law,” Wilson said in a statement.
Gay marriage is legal in 32 other states. In Missouri, a federal judge in Kansas City and a state judge in St. Louis each declared its ban unconstitutional, and gay-rights advocates urged the state’s attorney general not to appeal.
Wednesday’s two-sentence order from the Supreme Court noted conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would allow Kansas to continue enforcing its gay-marriage ban.
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