Main | Thursday, July 02, 2015

KANSAS: State Agencies Hold Back Marriage Recognition As Brownback Considers New Religious Liberty Bill

It's almost one full week after Obergefell and Kansas remains the lone purple holdout in Wikipedia's otherwise all-sapphire marriage map. Here's why, via the Kansas City Star:
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday that he’s considering proposing a new religious objections law for Kansas following the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage, and he defended his administration’s cautious response to the ruling. Same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses in all 105 Kansas counties, but the state is not allowing gay and lesbian spouses to change their names on driver’s licenses, nor has it said whether couples can file joint income tax returns. The state has not extended coverage to gay spouses under its health insurance plan for government workers. The conservative governor said the state will move “as expeditiously as we can” to make changes, but he didn’t have a timetable. “You have to understand and get the mechanisms in place,” he told reporters. “We’ve had meetings with the attorney general, with the relevant Cabinet agencies. We want to make sure to do this right.” Asked whether he’d outline a proposal for legislators next year, Brownback said, “We’re looking at that.” Lawmakers are out of session for the year. “We want to make sure that people’s religious liberties are protected,” he said.
Last year's attempt to install a RFRA bill in Kansas failed to pass. (Tipped by JMG reader Adam)

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