WICHITA, Kansas – Same sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states with the Supreme Court offering an opinion.
“Finally our love for each other has now been upheld by the United States and recognized by our country,” says legally married gay Wichita man Kevin. “Ten years ago when Jeremy and I met we never thought we would see the day when this would happen.”
Gay activists are calling this a big win for equality.
“This is a dream realized for many Kansans,” says Thomas Witt with Equality Kansas. “We’re absolutely happy. Great day in history for full equality for LGBT. And, really, why shouldn’t everyone be able to get married? It should be this way.”
But not everyone in Kansas agrees. The Attorney General has offered opinions in the past that county courts should not offer same-sex marriage certificates.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback offered a response not long after the Supreme Court ruled.
“Activist courts should not overrule the people of this state, who have clearly supported the Kansas Constitution’s definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” says the statement. “We will review the ruling carefully to understand its effects on the people of Kansas.”
Kerry Wilks with Equality Kansas reacted to the Governor’s statement.
“It’s time for Governor Brownback and Attorney General (Derek) Schmidt to stop pushing their private agendas and let equality move forward,” said Wilks. “Because they just need to get out-of-the-way. The Supreme Court has ruled and equality is a Kansas value.”
Rev. Jackie Carter with First Metropolitan Community Church says the legality of this is over, saying the highest court in the land has spoken.
“This is a historic day, yes,” says Carter. “This day will be remembered for a long time. And let’s not forget what marriage is… It’s a union of two people sharing their lives.”
Carter and Witt and others say they will be watching closely what the state of Kansas does from a legal perspective.
Other local church leaders are speaking out on the Supreme Court ruling.
“To see us redefine marriage in a way that dishonors God, is just sad,” said Pastor D. Burchfiel of Summit Church in Wichita. “But it doesn’t change our whole ministry to anyone who is dealing with the sin of homosexuality.We will continue to reach out and help people. It’s our ministry.”
Pastor Terry Fox of Summit Church in Wichita says the legality of the Supreme Court ruling could be considered a violation of states rights.
“”I was disappointed but not surprised,” said Fox. “This concerns me for several reasons. One of the greatest concerns is that I feel states rights have been trampled on by the Supreme Court. And my question now is, what’s next? The people of Kansas did not change the marriage laws. The courts did. And in my opinion, runaways courts.”