Kansas late Wednesday became the 33rd
state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry after the Supreme
Court refused to further delay implementation of a ruling striking
down the state's ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree
struck down the ban, saying it violates the Fourteenth Amendment, and
ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples
starting on Tuesday.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt
turned to the Supreme Court after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
in Denver refused to stay Crabtree's decision.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees
federal courts in Kansas, temporarily blocked the ruling from taking
effect as the justices deliberated. In its one-page
order lifting the stay, the court said that Justices Antonin
Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
Kansas was one of two remaining states
fighting to keep its ban after the Supreme Court on October 6 refused
to hear appeals in cases challenging similar bans in five states.
South Carolina remains, but a federal judge on Wednesday struck down
South Carolina's ban.
judge strikes down South Carolina's gay marriage ban.)
Schmidt argued that Kansas should be
allowed to keep its ban as it pursues an appeal because a recent
federal appeals court's ruling upholding such bans in four states had
created a disagreement between appellate courts.
In a statement, Schmidt suggested that
the state would continue to fight: “Although the preliminary
injunction is in place, it remains under appeal in the 10th
Circuit. The underlying case on the merits also remains pending.”