Archive for Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Measures introduced to do away with Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage

January 29, 2014


Kansas government
Have a story idea?
Contact Journal-World reporter Peter Hancock:

— A House committee on Wednesday accepted a request to introduce measures that would repeal Kansas' ban on same-sex marriage.

Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, the state's leading gay rights group, asked for the proposals to be introduced before the wrap-up of a hearing on a bill that would provide legal protection to people who, because of religious opposition to gay marriage, would deny business and services to same-sex couples.

"Well, they want to have a conversation about marriage equality, so let's have a conversation about marriage equality," Witt said.

House Federal and State Affairs Chairman Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, said anyone who wants to introduce a bill in his committee is free to do so.

"It's never been my practice to preclude anybody because I may or may not like the particular bill personally," Brunk said.

Once the bills are drafted, Brunk will decide whether to hold a public hearing.

"I don't have a bill yet. All I have is a bill introduction, so I have no idea what it does or what it says. But as bills do come in, I do have to prioritize," he said.

Witt said one bill would repeal the state law passed in 1996 that bans same-sex marriage. He said the other measure would be a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal the 2005 amendment that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. That passed with 70 percent of the vote.

Witt said he believes that eventually the U.S. Supreme Court will strike state laws and constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage. Federal judges in Oklahoma and Utah have recently struck down bans and, like Kansas, fall under the jurisdiction of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.


Clark Coan 4 years, 2 months ago

Would take a constitutional amendment which is not likely to pass anytime soon in the Sunflower State.

Shawn House 4 years, 2 months ago

The definition of marriage has never included people of the same sex, but in the past 10 years or so some people have been working to change it. Why is incest taboo but being gay is not? Being gay is just as wrong as incest in my opinion. I'm not here to persecute gays, but I do not want to give them my blessing or tax benefits either.

Eddie Velez 4 years, 2 months ago

Why does anyone need your blessing to live their life? You're entitled to your opinion and beliefs, however you are not entitled to make laws that violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. Those "tax benefits" are not yours to confer on anyone. Your rights end where the rights of someone else begin. "Marriage" is a civil contract between two consenting adults as far as the government is concerned.

Gregory Newman 4 years, 2 months ago

According to the 14th amendment of our constitution Gay couples have a right to marry regardless of anyone’s personal feelings. Bible principle is not constitutional. The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution.

According the 1st amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress (to remedy or rectify) of grievances.” So therefore, same-sex marriage should never be heard in court at any level period.

Since our civil liberties have accepted marriage as a PRIVILEGE. The institution of marriage is not anyone’s idea or personal property to manage as one would deem fit. So therefore, it would be profane to determine what is fair or equitable about a principle that belongs to God to define humanity.

So any magistrate that grants homosexuals to marry will result in a loss of a hedge of protection from unnatural earth and weather disasters for that stated jurisdiction by God.

Chelsea Kapfer 4 years, 2 months ago

you say you are not here to persecute gays, yet that is exactly what you are doing. stop it.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 2 months ago

Loving v. Virginia, decided by the Supreme Court 50 years ago with regards to anti-miscegenation laws should have put this issue to rest. The court decided then that state's cannot deny individuals the fundamental right to marry. The 14th Amendment they said, doesn't just apply to white people, it applies to all people. For people like Shawn who are stuck in 1850, "all" means ALL. So yes, you will have to share "your" precious tax breaks with "them".

Clark Coan 4 years, 2 months ago

Well, Jesus did say that marriage is to be between a man and a woman:

Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c] 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

So, in my opinion, no Christian pastor or priest should perform a same-sex marriage. However, if two people love each other and want to commit for life and get the benefits of marriage, they should be allowed to have a civil ceremony sanctioned by state. County clerks, city clerks, justices of the peace and judges can perform these civil ceremonies.

David Reber 4 years, 2 months ago

No Christian pastor, or any other such person, marries people. The state marries people. The rest is just ceremony and window dressing, and it isn't up to the state (or you, Clark) to tell any religious (or non-religious) figure what ceremonies they can/can't or should/shouldn't perform.

Clark Coan 4 years, 2 months ago

Not exactly. See Kansas law below: Solemnization Authority: Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage, in the following manner: By the mutual declarations of the two parties to be joined in marriage, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age, other than the officiating person, that they take each other as husband and wife. The following are authorized to be officiating persons:

• Any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society;

• any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any church of the denomination to which the licentiate or appointee belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination;

• any judge or justice of a court of record;

• any municipal judge of a city of this state; and

• any retired judge or justice of a court of record.

The two parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person.

Officiants: Any ordained clergyman of any religious denomination or society may perform marriages. Ministers are required to file credentials or ordination with the judge of a probate court before performing marriages. Minister must return the marriage license and a certificate of marriage to the probate judge who issued the marriage license within 10 days after the marriage.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 2 months ago

You don't read very well...your own passage says a marriage requires a license. The church/pastor doesn't issue a license, the state does. All your passage says is that a pastor is authorized to read some words in front of the couple before the state issues said license

Gregory Newman 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree. At this point to my knowledge I have not heard anything that has a definitive explanation of marriage. My explanation of how I understand it according to scripture is this.

Marriage is a spiritual principle ordained by God and is conducted in a ceremony with a man and a woman that professes and confesses that they acknowledge God as their spiritual Head and possess His Spirit to set as an example for a divine purpose.

This nation came upon this situation because of two religions the Catholics and the Mormons. These two institutions had the unadulterated guile to go on the offensive by funding and addressing the issue to the courts in California which nullified the effect of the 1st amendment. If the religious community did not go on the offensive this situation would have remained in the City and County of San Francisco as a Civil Union per the voters of the City and County of San Francisco and not the rest of the Nation.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 2 months ago

Notwithstanding that your version of the definition of marriage includes God, how about people who live in ignorance of your/our God and still marry, have families, and produce more marriageable people? Does not their marriage count?

We, as a nation, have made rules (the Constitution) governing human actions insofar as they affect others and other nations. There is no stricture or instruction in the Constitution governing, or even mentioning, marriage and what is or is not a marriage as that has been left to the states to decide. HOWEVER, the Constitution, as amneded BY THE STATES, prohibits discrimination of the poeople by the states and their people.

The issue here is not your or my or others' religious beliefs, but the equality of all people under the law. Preventing that equality by legislating their actions into illegality is clearly unconstiturional, and should not be permitted under any state constitution, as Federal law trumps state law in this area.

And, by the way, do you also not recognize civil marriage, as allowed by law, even in Kansas? Your second paragraph indicates that you do not, and kind of blows your whole argument, don't you think?

Chris Golledge 4 years, 2 months ago

Last time I checked America was not a theocracy, but then, maybe I should reassess that.

Phillip Chappuie 4 years, 2 months ago

What Jesus said or didn't day is not part of the equation here. It may be an excuse for the haters but that is all. God (or lack thereof) has no place in government.

Clark Coan 4 years, 2 months ago

What it means is that NO Christian pastor who believes in the teachings of Jesus should perform a same-sex marriage ceremony and bless that marriage.

Jim Slade 4 years, 2 months ago

Can you quote me, exactly, what -Jesus- said about gay marriage? Or even homosexuals for that matter?

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 2 months ago

I can answer that! This is a complete list of every single time that Jesus is quoted in the four Gospels as mentioning anything at all about gay people or homosexual issues:

1) Gosh, there's nothing on the list!

But the apostle Paul, known as Saul before something like scales fell from his eyes on his way to Damascus (see Acts Chapter 9, verse 18), had plenty to say on the subject in his many letters that were later canonized in the Christian Bible. There are quite a few that claim that a few passages that he wrote make it quite obvious that he was struggling with homosexual feelings of his own.

And for some reason, he never married.

Shawn House 4 years, 2 months ago

I realize you are trying to silence me by calling me a hater or claim that I'm stuck in 1850, but I just wanted to try and understand why incest is wrong, but being gay is alright because they were born that way. Just for the record I think incest is wrong but being gay isn't any better. I don't believe that Kansas will ever recognize same sex marriages, because the majority of voters in Kansas agree with me. Most people who are against same sex marriages won't tell you what they believe because they don't want to be singled out and called names.

Bob Forer 4 years, 2 months ago

Shawn, people are not born with a natural, biological attraction to family members. However, if you ask any gay person why they are gay, they will tell you they were born that way. And most scientific experts agree.

Since you are obviously a religoius person, let me put it in terms you might understand. God did not create persons with incestual desires. However, God did create persons with homosexual desires.

Big difference.

Jonathan Nyp 4 years, 2 months ago

"Shawn, people are not born with a natural, biological attraction to family members."

How do you know this for a fact?

Bob Forer 4 years, 2 months ago

I was fortunate enough to obtain a college education, Jonathan, and took a few psychology classes.

Jonathan Nyp 4 years, 2 months ago

BTW our laws are not based on (nor should they be) the natural inclinations of the population.

Chelsea Kapfer 4 years, 2 months ago

Incest is illegal because it involves a minor child who is not able to give consent. A LGBT relationship is a consensual relationship that occurs between two willing parties. Do you see the difference now? I don't know how to explain it any clearer.

Jim Slade 4 years, 2 months ago

Not entirely accurate. Pedophilia involves minors. Incest COULD involve minors, but it is also incest when the siblings are of age.

Shawn House 4 years, 2 months ago

So if "ALL" people have the right to be married, should society allow siblings to marry one another?

Chelsea Kapfer 4 years, 2 months ago

I actually agree with you here- if the siblings are of legal age then why not?

Jim Slade 4 years, 2 months ago

Incest laws are more about preventing birth defects that come with incestuous relationships and less about the morality of the relationship.

Shawn House 4 years, 2 months ago

I watched a documentary about this and we now know that incest raises the chances of birth defects about only a percent or two.

Chris Golledge 4 years, 2 months ago

pre·clude priˈklo͞od/Submit verb 1. prevent from happening; make impossible.

You could preclude a bill, I guess, but, I don't think Brunk meant exactly what he said about precluding anyone.

Jonathan Nyp 4 years, 2 months ago

The problem is that our laws favor married people, gay or straight. If fairness is the goal, then we should eliminate state sponsorship of marriage and make it a private religious commitment and treat all citizens the same regardless of marital status.

Shawn House 4 years, 2 months ago

I have to agree with you here. Single people are being discriminated against and that needs to stop.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.