A federal judge in Kansas City on
Friday heard arguments in a case challenging the state's ban on gay
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
earlier this month after the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals in
The ACLU of Kansas is representing two
gay couples who wish to marry in Kansas. One of the couples, Donna
DiTrani and Kerry Wilks, were denied a marriage license in Sedgwick
Assistant Attorney General Steve Fabert
told U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree that the state's “double
track marriage system” made it different from Utah and Oklahoma.
Kansas is one of nine states, plus the District of Columbia, where a
common-law marriage can be contracted.
However, a requirement to establish a
common-law marriage in Kansas is the capacity to marry.
Additionally, only two states currently recognize such unions when
the spouses are of the same sex.
According to Kansas
City Public Media, Doug Bonney, legal director of the ACLU of
Kansas, called the argument a “red herring.”
“The law forbids these committed
loving couples from giving to each other themselves, their hands,
their lives, their loves,” Bonney said after reciting the last
stanza of Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road.
Crabtree did not say when he would
issue his ruling.