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Archive for Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Lawmakers take up gay marriage ban issue again

April 28, 2004

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— Right out of the chute, the Kansas Legislature today renewed the debate over a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

At the outset of the wrap-up session, Senate President Dave Kerr, R-Hutchinson, announced the formation of a conference committee on a resolution dealing with voter registration lists, which several lawmakers said would be gutted, and then used as a vehicle for a gay marriage prohibition.

"The Taliban would be proud of these procedures," said state Sen. David Adkins, R-Leawood, who has opposed anti-gay measures.

State Sen. Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, was one of those named to the conference committee.

Schmidt said he doesn't believe a constitutional amendment is needed to prohibit same-sex marriages in Kansas, but he said, he is willing to vote for a proposal to give voters the chance to decide the issue.

Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate before being placed on the ballot for voter consideration.

Earlier this year, the House approved by two-thirds a proposed amendment barring gay marriage, but the Senate rejected the measure.

Proponents of the constitutional ban vowed that the issue would be brought up again during the wrap-up session.

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