A federal judge has refused to allow
the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church to intervene in a
case challenging Kansas' ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree
disagreed with the church's assertion that its religious-based
interests were not being represented in the case by the state.
“[T]he differences in interests that
WBC identifies only amount to differences in arguments that WBC would
like to assert,” Crabtree said in
his ruling. “This is an insufficient basis to conclude WBC's
interest are not adequately represented by the existing defendants.”
Westboro, known for coining the phrase
“God hates fags” and picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers,
argued that it should be allowed to defend the ban in court because
it has a “vital interest in what the courts rule regarding this
issue, as it directly impacts their religious practices, beliefs,
preachments, picketing, association and speech, as well as the
wellbeing of their fellow man.”
Westboro officials also said that
allowing gay couples to marry would “destroy Kansas.”
“If this Court requires Kansas
officials to treat what God has called abominable as something to be
respected, revered, and blessed with the seal-of-approval of the
government, that will cross a final line with God,” the document
states. “The harm that will befall this state, when the
condign destructive wrath of God pours out on Kansans is the ultimate
harm to the health, welfare and safety of the people.”
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are two
lesbian couples who wish to marry in Kansas but were denied marriage
licenses. Crabtree put his ruling on hold until Tuesday at 5 PM.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down similar bans in
Oklahoma and Utah, refused to stay Crabtree's ruling as the state
pursues an appeal. Kansas officials said Friday that they would ask
the Supreme Court to intervene before the ruling takes effect.
to ask Supreme Court to stay gay marriage ruling.)
Crabtree dismissed a similar request to
intervene in the case by a straight couple who
claimed that allowing gay couples to marry would be tantamount to
seizing their marriage property.
provided by Equality Case Files.)