On Friday, October 10, 2014, the ACLU-KS filed suit in federal court on behalf of two same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses based on the Kansas laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. On November 4, after a hearing arguments on October 31, the court enjoined enforcement of the Kansas marriage ban with regard to the issuance of marriage licenses. The the State appealed the decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. On November 12, 2014, after the Supreme Court had denied the State’s request for a stay of the preliminary injunction, same-sex marriages commenced in Kansas.
On November 26, 2014, we amended our complaint to add six new plaintiffs whose marriages the State had refused to recognize for purposes of filing state income tax returns, changing names on driver’s licenses, and adding same-sex spouses to state employee health insurance. The State refused to give up, filing three motions to dismiss our case. On August 10, 2015, after the Supreme Court held that states could not prohibit or refuse to recognize same-sex marriages, Judge Daniel Crabtree issued a strong order granting our motion for summary judgment in full but holding our request for a permanent injunction in abeyance so that the State could file additional evidence regarding the State’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell. In a final decision dated July 22, 2016, Judge Crabtree held that the State had failed to show compliance with Obergefell, and he entered a permanent injunction forbidding the State from enforcing the Kansas statutes and constitutional provisions banning same-sex marriage.