Opinion Columns & Blogs

Kansas’ nullified same-sex marriage ban remains


The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling made same-sex marriage legal in all states. But the Kansas Constitution, as amended in 2005, still says: “Marriage shall be constituted by one man and one woman only. All other marriages are declared to be contrary to the public policy of this state and are void.” So now what? Will it just linger in the document, unenforceable and unenforced, in the absence of the political will to replace it with language such as “eliminated by amendment” or “repealed”? Asked the question by The Eagle editorial board, Washburn University law professor William Rich said via e-mail: “The amendment will just sit there until it is removed by the Legislature and the voters. Until then, it will simply be considered invalid even though it remains on the books.” But it’s hard to imagine the conservative Legislature even attempting to secure the two-thirds support necessary to put a repeal to voters, who would need to approve it by a simple majority. – Rhonda Holman