UPDATE- The Kansas Supreme Court has told Johnson County not to issue any additional licenses to same sex couples. The original version of this story is posted at the bottom of the page.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has blocked the state's most populous county from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, hours after the first one was issued under an order from a lower-court judge.
The Supreme Court issued a three-page order in response to a petition filed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The high court said it acted for "statewide consistency."
The Supreme Court set a hearing for Nov. 6.
Schmidt argued that the chief district court judge in Johnson County exceeded his authority in ordering clerks and other judges to approve marriage applications from gay couples, despite a ban on gay marriage in the state constitution.
Judge Kevin Moriarty issued his order after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve their bans.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has filed court papers to block Johnson County officials from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Earlier today (FRI), Johnson County issued what is thought to be the first same sex marriage license in Kansas. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.
The chief judge in Johnson County made the decision to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.
Schmidt says that judge overstepped his bounds and he’s asking the Kansas Supreme Court to stop the practice.
Schmidt has been expecting a lawsuit over the state’s ban on same sex marriage and says the issuing of licenses should stop until there’s an orderly, legal resolution to the dispute. Governor Sam Brownback agrees that the state should defend the constitutional ban on same sex marriage.
LGBT rights advocates say same sex couples should be allowed to marry now, because they believe the state is all but guaranteed to lose a legal challenge.