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Gay Marriage: Kansas and Missouri rejected
(Blogmensgo, gay blog on 7 November 2014) The ban on gay marriage in Kansas and Missouri has been declared unconstitutional through two separate judgements on 4 and 5 November 2014. Both states will appeal. Kansas was granted a stay of execution; Missouri has not made the request to.
Missouri: the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional
Rex Burlison, judge of the Court of Appeals in St. Louis, ruled that the prohibition of marriage between persons of the same sex does not correspond to a "legitimate government interest" in Missouri.
The constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman - which got 71% of votes cast in a referendum in 2004 - is deemed unwritten.
It is the city of St. Louis, who had seized the federal courts to invalidate the ban on gay marriage in the state. In June 2014, the municipality had issued four licenses for same-sex marriage with the Department of Justice challenging the legality of Missouri.
Chris Koster, Attorney General of Missouri immediately said he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Missouri. However, he gave up asking for a stay of execution.
Missouri becomes, at least temporarily, the thirty-third US State to allow gay and lesbian marriages. Soon after, the city of St. Louis was delivering again marriage licenses to gay couples.
In several other counties of Missouri, offices Vital preferred to wait to receive official instructions. The situation should be clarified in the next few days.
Kansas: it is illegal to ban gay marriages
An interim order issued November 4, 2014, the 10 th Court of Appeals ruled illegal the ban on gay marriage in Kansas. The Department of Justice immediately appealed.
Accommodative decision for Kansas
Federal Judge Daniel D. Crabtree took a decision in favor of gay marriage, but with a stay of execution until November 11 to allow time for Kansas State to appeal.
This was done from November 5. It is not yet clear whether Kansas will appeal to the 10 th Federal Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court.
The Minister of Justice, Derek Schmidt explained how he intended on the one hand to obtain a judgement in the plenary (not isolated as a trial in Kansas or by a panel of three judges as in Utah and Oklahoma), on the other hand did confirm "the constitutionality of its ban on marriage between persons of the same sex."
The case was brought before the judge Crabtree by the American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) on behalf of two lesbian couples. Couples (one married for twenty-one years) wanted to recognize the legality of gays and lesbians marriages outside of Kansas but also the constitutionality of a ban on gay marriage in Kansas.
Crabtree judge ruled that the first point (recognition of marriages in third countries) is not within its jurisdiction.
Kansas prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex through its Constitution (amendment adopted in 2005 to 70% of the vote) and several pieces of legislation. Crabtree J. immediately recalled that the marriage falls within the jurisdiction of the federal courts, while the jurisdiction of a state remains intact if it is to decide questions of divorce, alimony or custody children.
A decision already lapsed
In its conclusions, the interim order prohibits Kansas to apply any provision contrary to lesbian or gay marriage, in particular Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of Kansas. This state is not entitled to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples under the pretext that they are gay.
Kansas has given the opportunity to appeal the judge's decision Crabtree became - temporarily - obsolete almost immediately after publication.
This article has been translated from our French blog, to view the original, click here.