Drive underway to oust judge in gay marriage case

LOUISBURG, Kansas (AP) — The husband of a state senator is working to oust a northeast Kansas trial judge who ordered the court clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Kansas City Star reports Brian Baumgardner is targeting Johnson County Chief District Judge Kevin Moriarty.

Moriarty faces a retention vote Nov. 4 in the 10th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Johnson County. Baumgardner — husband of Republican state Sen. Molly Baumgardner — lives in neighboring Miami County but told The Star on Friday that “a bad judge harms everybody.”

Moriarty issued his order Oct. 8 after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand lower-court rulings striking down bans on gay marriage as unconstitutional. The Kansas Supreme Court has halted the issuance of any licenses pending a hearing scheduled Nov. 6.

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