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Kansas Legislature

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

January 29, 2014


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  • — 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.


    Jonathan Nyp 2 months, 2 weeks 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.


    Chris Golledge 2 months, 2 weeks 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.


    Shawn House 2 months, 2 weeks ago

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


    Shawn House 2 months, 2 weeks 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.


    Phillip Chappuie 2 months, 2 weeks 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 2 months, 2 weeks 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.


    Keith Richards 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Can anyone please give me a valid, non-religious reason why gay people should not be allowed to wed one another?


    Matthew Herbert 2 months, 2 weeks 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".


    Shawn House 2 months, 2 weeks 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.


    Clark Coan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

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


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