Absent Supreme Court Action, Same-Sex Marriages To Start In Kansas

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Kansas' request to keep marriages on hold during any attempted appeal by the state.

WASHINGTON — The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stop same-sex couples from being able to marry in Kansas starting next week in a brief order filed on Friday.

Absent Supreme Court action in the coming days, a trial court ruling from earlier this week finding that Kansas' ban on same-sex couples' marriages is unconstitutional will go into effect at 5 p.m. Nov. 11.

The 10th Circuit, earlier this year, ruled in challenges to Utah and Oklahoma's bans that such laws are unconstitutional, decisions that the Supreme Court let stand when they turned down the states' request to hear appeals of the cases on Oct. 6.

Applying the 10th Circuit's precedent, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree found that Kansas' ban could not stand either. He put the ruling on hold until Nov. 11 to allow the state time to seek a stay if it wished to do so — which it did.

Judges Carlos Lucero and Robert Bacharach issued the order denying Kansas' request for a longer stay, writing, "We conclude that defendants have failed to make the showings necessary to obtain a stay, and we deny the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal."

As such, same-sex couples likely will be able to marry in Kansas later on Tuesday, Nov. 11, or, if no offices remain open past 5 p.m., then on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

The court's conclusion:

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt will ask the Supreme Court, in a request to be filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, for a stay of the trial court's ruling during Kansas' appeal.