Archive for Thursday, November 20, 2003

Sebelius expects no change in marriage law

November 20, 2003

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would not say Wednesday whether she supports or opposes gay marriage, only that she does not think a Massachusetts court's ruling on the issue will lead to a repeal of Kansas' ban anytime soon.

Massachusetts' highest court on Tuesday ordered legislators in that state to replace within 180 days that state's same-sex marriage ban with a policy permitting gay couples to wed. In 1996, Kansas legislators overwhelmingly approved a bill reinforcing a long-standing policy of recognizing only unions of one man and one woman.

"The Kansas Legislature has taken a pretty strong (stance) in terms of the definition of marriage," Sebelius said. "I don't that's going to change any time soon."

Atty. Gen. Phill Kline, who voted for the same-sex marriage ban as a Kansas House member, said Tuesday that legislatures, not courts, should decide such issues.

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback criticized the Massachusetts ruling, saying "Protecting marriage is essential to the long-term health of our families and culture."

Asked for her opinion, Sebelius said she had not read the Massachusetts court ruling, adding, "It clearly is not applicable in Kansas."

Pressed further about her own views on same-sex marriages, she said, "Well, I need to read the case. I don't really even understand quite what the facts were or what they took a look at. I think that the Kansas Legislature overwhelmingly set the framework for the law in Kansas, and as I say, I don't see that changing anytime soon."

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