Nixon signed an executive order at a news conference in Kansas City, saying the Supreme Court’s ruling was “a major victory of equality and an important milestone on our journey toward creating a fair and more just society for all Americans”.
“The Kansas Bill of Rights affirms the right to worship according to “dictates of conscience” and further protects against any infringement of that right”, Brownback said.
EO 15-05 prohibits state government from taking any discriminatory action against any “individual clergy or religious leader”, or any “religious organization” that chooses not to participate in a marriage that is inconsistent with its sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman. They are plaintiffs in a still-pending lawsuit against the state for recognition of same-sex couples.
Nixon said the latest order will send a message that all state agencies are expected to review their operations and make any necessary changes to guarantee that same-sex couples receive equal treatment.
After the Supreme Court’s decision, Gov. Brownback did not immediately announce his state would comply. A copy of the executive order signed by the Governor can be found here.
Last week the Supreme Court struck down any gay marriage bans, and that ruling makes Idaho’s constitutional marriage definition obsolete.
“We are deeply disappointed by the Executive Order issued today, which is unnecessary and harmful”.
Gov. Sam Brownback said last week his administration was reviewing the ruling and studying its implications before extending benefits to same-sex married couples. He said the order could allow state contactors to discriminate, such as by refusing to provide space in a homeless shelter to gay couples.
“Importantly, the reach of the Court’s opinion stops at the door of the First Amendment and our laws protecting religious liberty,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.
“All they have to do as a state government is stop enforcing certain laws”, said Witt, whose LGBT rights group exerted pressure on state officials this past week to honor the high court’s decision. The only municipality in Kansas with an pro-LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in Lawrence, Kansas, but that measure exempts non-profit fraternal and social associations as well as religious organization and non-profit for the goal of public accommodations.
You can read the executive order in its entirety here.
Kubic said the ACLU of Kansas is closely monitoring the impact of the directive in the state.