Even though same-sex marriage has chalked up a considerable amount of wins in the courts, many advocates are beginning to understand that the devil is in the details.
The arguments against gay marriage still being a “thing” in 2014 is absurd at this point. To most of America the issue has been settled. With a litany of court wins and a large portion of the American public in support for same-sex marriages, it’s safe to say marriage equality isn’t going away anytime soon. Still for many who oppose gay marriage, they are finding other avenues to wage opposition.
The AP recently reported that Sam Brownback – the current governor of Kansas – and his administration is refusing to acknowledge the same sex marriage statutes in the state until all court procedures and appeals have been worked through. This poses a problem to many same sex couples in Kansas. With Brownback’s administration refusing to recognize same-sex marriage, state agencies in Kansas aren’t recognizing the rights of same-sex couples, even though same-sex marriage is legal in that state.
While many states – including Kansas – have tried to put bans on same-sex marriage in the past, but the courts have struck down many of these bans, including the one in Kansas. After these rulings the majority of state officials – even if they didn’t agree with the ruling – treated the enforcement of same-sex marriage as law.
Kansas officials however have argued that the court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in Kansas only applies to the Department of Health and Environment, because they were the only department recognized in the lawsuit. Many civil rights lawyers and gay marriage advocates say that once a state organization is named in a lawsuit that verdict becomes the stand-in for the rest of state government. To many it’s just standard practice.
However as this battle continues to be played out, many same-sex couples in Kansas are denied major marital benefits offered by the state, even though legally Kansas recognizes gay marriage. Considering Brownback is on record for strongly opposing issues of gay marriage, the issue looks far from over in Kansas.