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Kansas senate backs state same-sex marriage amendment

[JURIST] The Kansas Senate [official website] voted Thursday in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment [text, PDF] that would ban same-sex marriage and would prohibit the state from allowing civil unions or granting benefits normally associated with marriage to same-sex couples. The measure, which passed by a 28-11 vote, will now move to the state House, where it must pass by a two-thirds majority before the proposed amendment can be put on state ballots for voter approval. The proposed amendment is supported by many of the state's conservative ministers, one of whom called the Senate vote "a victory for the voters of Kansas." State Sen. John Vratil [official website; Vratil's stance on a marriage amendment], who voted against the measure, decried the favorable vote, saying "Never before in the history of our state have we added an amendment to the constitution that proactively discriminates against people." According to Kansans for Justice & Equality [advocacy website], the measure is potentially unconstitutional [KJE anti-marriage amendment messaging]. Friday's Lawrence Journal-World has more.

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