Officials in Johnson County, KS direct county clerks to issue marriage licenses

Today, October 8, Kansas officials directed clerks in Johnson County to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in light of the October 6 Supreme Court decision to deny review of the 10th Circuit ruling in favor of the freedom to marry.

The administrative order said:

"In the interest of justice and to avoid the uncertainty that has arisen in light of recent federal court rulings about the constitutionality of state constitutional and/or statutory prohibitions against marriage by same-sex individuals, the clerk of the district court is hereby directed to issue marriage licenses to all individuals, including same-sex individuals, provided they are otherwise qualified to marry."

This order follows the action from Monday when the United States Supreme Court denied review of the 10th Circuit ruling in the Utah and Oklahoma cases involving the freedom to marry. This ruling was binding to the 10th Circuit, of which Kansas is a part, meaning that the freedom to marry will likely come to the entire state soon. The Johnson County officials took a brave step forward, and Freedom to Marry applauds them in respecting the 10th Circuit ruling.

Earlier today, Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson put this into perspective:

"We're one country with one constitution, and everyone should have this happiness. But of course any state without full justice and full dignity and full respect for all people is too many, and so we have to really work hard to finish the job and make this happiness available to all families in the United States."