Has Kansas Finally Gone Sapphire?
Married same-sex spouses will be able to join the state’s employee health plan, an Emporia State University spokeswoman said Monday – though the state agency overseeing the plan denies that they are now eligible. Gwen Larson, Emporia State University spokeswoman, said the university had received notification earlier in the day that same-sex spouses will be able to be added to health plans, though she did not know details, such as when coverage would begin.I'll update this post as more becomes known.
“Yes, we have been notified that our employees who are in legalized same-sex marriages will fall under the state health plan,” Larson said. But several minutes later, Larson called a reporter back to say official word will come from the Kansas Department for Health and Environment. Larson’s statement followed statements from both the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Department for Health and Environment saying the spouses of gay married state workers were not yet eligible for the health plan.
UPDATE: The Wichita Eagle reports that the DMV is allowing name-changes.
A Johnson County woman was allowed to change her name to match her wife’s after being denied on two previous occasions. Michelle Gale-Nelson and her wife, L.J. Nelson, nurses who met 18 years ago in college and were married in March, had previously been told they couldn't change the names on their driver's licenses at DMV offices in Johnson and Wyandotte counties. They expected that Monday would be a repeat and planned to record it.
“We actually thought we were going to get denied. We literally had cell phone cameras ready to get denied,” Gale-Nelson said. “We literally had the SCOTUS ruling in our hands.” But this time the supervisor who rejected the request in May ready to approve the change, explaining that the Department of Revenue had sent out an e-mail earlier in the day allowing changing the names on licenses for same-sex couples. “He even shook our hands, apologized for the previous time that we were here, you know, and said he just didn’t want to lose his job,” Gale-Nelson said. “He had to follow the rules.”