Same-sex couples in Kansas are now free to marry, after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted its stay and allowed a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban to take immediate effect.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree, an Obama appointee — overturned Kansas’ ban on same-sex couples marrying, following to the Tenth Circuit precedent set in the Oklahoma and Utah cases. Kansas state officials tried to argue on many technicalities that the judge should consider their ban differently, but he dismissed them all in his opinion. He stayed his order to give the state a chance to make its case on appeal.
On Tuesday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor extended the stay to give the high court time to consider the last-ditch appeal by the state. But Thursday, in a short order, the Supreme Court announced that the state’s application for a longer stay “is denied” and the “order heretofore entered by Justice Sotomayor is vacated.” Notably, the statement also revealed that Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia would have sided with the state.
The order comes on the same day that a federal judge in South Carolina overturned that state’s same-sex marriage ban — a ruling on hold to give that state time to make a similar appeal.