Confusion clouds the issue of marriage equality in Kansas, where a constitutional ban barring it was struck down by a federal court on November 4. The state sought a stay pending appeal from the 10th Circuit which denied it. The state then went to the U.S. Supreme Court with the same request. The request was temporarily granted, then denied by the full Court.
Now, of the state's 105 counties, at least six are issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, others are refusing applications, and some (Ottawa and Saline) are taking applications but refusing to issue licenses, the Washington Post reports:
Jennifer Rapp, a spokesperson for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (pictured), said his office has asked the Kansas Supreme Court “to provide further guidance to the district courts in light of the federal preliminary injunction.”
“We are awaiting a decision on this case,” Rapp said in an email.
Schmidt suggested earlier this month in a statement that a decision in the case applied to Douglas and Sedgwick counties, where two lesbian couples were denied marriage licenses.
“I think the Kansas attorney general has abdicated his responsibilities,” Witt said. “If anybody is causing chaos and confusion … it’s the Kansas attorney general.”
The Kansas Supreme Court is mulling Schmidt's request:
The Kansas court was reviewing a petition from state Attorney General Derek Schmidt, hoping to block marriage licenses for same-sex couples until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on whether the state’s ban on gay marriage is constitutional. The court discussed the case in a closed meeting, and spokeswoman Lisa Taylor couldn’t say when it would issue a ruling.
…Court spokeswoman Lisa Taylor said Monday that retired Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone and retiring Linn County District Judge Richard Smith are sitting with the court.
Meanwhile, gay couples are marrying in Topeka and 15 couples married on the steps of the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita.
And a judge today ordered that couples be allowed to get married in Cherokee, Crawford and Labette counties.
Butler, Elk and Greenwood are among those not issuing licenses.
We'll keep you informed of this developing situation…