On election day, a federal judge unsurprisingly struck down Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage. The judge did issue a stay of his ruling for a week so that the state could appeal if it wanted to. And despite the fact that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has already overturned bans in two other states, they’re going to do so.
Judge Daniel Crabtree, in a written ruling, granted a preliminary injunction that had been sought by the ACLU of Kansas on behalf of two lesbian couples who had been denied marriage licenses in Sedgwick and Douglas counties. The injunction will prevent the state from enforcing the ban on same-sex marriage found in the Kansas Constitution.
However, marriages won’t begin immediately. Crabtree stayed the injunction until 5 p.m. on Nov. 11. Without the injunction, clerks may continue to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
During a hearing last Friday, Kansas Assistant Attorney General Steve Fabert indicated he would appeal if the injunction was granted. It is possible a higher court could intervene and overturn the injunction.
The order is limited in scope, applying only to the clerks who denied licenses to the couples. However, Doug Bonney, legal director and chief counsel for the ACLU of Kansas, said its practical effect would be to allow same-sex marriage throughout the entire state.
“I’m elated of course. Not surprised by the stay, Judge Crabtree brought it up during the hearing last week, I think. I’m hopeful the state will decide its time to fold up this tent,” Bonney said.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement he plans to appeal the ruling. Schmidt said a request for an appeal from the entire Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals was not made in cases that threw out Oklahoma and Utah’s gay marriage ban.
“The District Court recognized the weight of its decision to declare a provision of the Kansas Constitution in violation of the United States Constitution and thus unenforceable. Kansas appreciates Judge Crabtree’s willingness to delay his order while the state defendants file their appeal,” Schmidt said.
This is pure political pandering. Schmidt knows an appeal has zero chance of winning. He knows that the judge was only following two rulings the appeals court already handed down. He’s only appealing in order to pander to the anti-gay right wing, who care nothing at all for things like reality.