Opinion Columns & Blogs

Conflicts on same-sex marriage will continue


Gov. Sam Brownback and state agencies had been dragging their feet in accepting the reality of last month’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage. So it is good that they are now allowing same-sex spouses of state employees to join the state’s health-insurance plan and same-sex couples to change their names on their driver’s licenses. But expect conflicts to continue. Brownback issued an executive order Tuesday aimed at strengthening the religious freedoms of Kansas clergy and religious organizations. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state employees can still be discriminated against at their jobs, after Brownback rescinded anti-discrimination protections earlier this year. Also, Attorney General Derek Schmidt was one of 15 state attorneys general to sign a letter to GOP U.S. House and Senate leaders last week asking Congress to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from targeting religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage. – Phillip Brownlee