Federal judge declares Kansas same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional News
Federal judge declares Kansas same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Kansas [official website] ruled [order, PDF] Tuesday that the same-sex marriage ban in Kansas is unconstitutional. The judge found in favor of the plaintiff’s claim, which asserted that the law in Kansas denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional. Judge Daniel Crabtree stated in his opinion:

[F]ollowing precedent is a core component of the rule of law. When the Supreme Court or the Tenth Circuit has established a clear rule of law, our Court must follow it.

Kansas is the last state within the Tenth Circuit to grant a preliminary injunction against the same-sex marriage ban. The court set the effective date of the decision as November 11 to allow the defendants time to appeal.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] continues to be one of the most controversial legal issues in the US today. Since the US Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, numerous state and federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Last month US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] announced [press release] that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages [JURIST report] in six additional states. The addition of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming brings the total number of states recognizing same-sex marriage to 32. Also in October the US Supreme Court announced that it had denied seven pending appeals [JURIST report], effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana.