Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has reiterated his opposition to gay marriage and vowed to defend the state's ban on such unions.

Brownback made his comments during a televised debate Monday against Democratic rival Paul Davis.

Davis said that while he does not support the state's voter approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, he does respect the people's decision.

“The fact of the matter is that at this particular time there is nothing I can do, there is nothing Gov. Brownback can do to impact this issue,” Davis said. “It is in the court system.”

Brownback replied that there is something he can do as governor: “defend our constitution.”

Kansas is the lone state resisting two separate Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rulings striking down gay marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. The court's rulings took effect last week after the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals in the cases.

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday to consider an ACLU request to force the state to comply with the rulings and allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Kansas.

(Related: Tim Huelskamp, Sam Brownback campaign against gay marriage in Kansas.)