When the United States Supreme Court ruled on June 26th, 2015 that same-sex couples were to be granted legal marriage rights across
the country, controversy immediately sprang up in every corner of the
nation. While some rejoiced at what they were seeing as the greatest victory
for LGBTQ activists in decades, others felt the decision violated states’
rights and the religious freedom of churches everywhere.
In response to what they feel is a direct affront to their personal religious
beliefs, some county clerks have chosen to ignore the Supreme Court’s
ruling. In Grafton, North Dakota, for example, County Recorder Diane Link
has decided that she will not be giving any marriage licenses to same-sex
couples who come to her office requesting one. It can be noted that so
far none have done so, as stated in a full article about her story
A Loophole Makes It Legal
Anyone who says they are not going to abide by a ruling issued by the
Supreme Court seems like someone who is asking for legal trouble, so how are the court
clerks avoiding prosecution after denying same-sex couples marriage licenses?
The answer is that they are utilizing quite a large legal loophole. The
law does not state who in particular needs to grant the same-sex couples
their marriage licenses, and any County Recorder can refuse to issue a
license, so long as the responsibility is passed onto their supervisor,
or Deputy Recorder. At that point, denying them their newly found right
to marriage could become a huge issue.
Oftentimes, the Deputy Recorder can be preoccupied or simply out of the
office when the County Recorder passes along the responsibility. Same-sex
couples who are showing up and expecting to be given a marriage license
are leaving empty-handed, if only temporarily so. Whether or not these
delays in issuing marriage licenses will spark a greater controversy is
yet to be seen.
If you are in a same-sex relationship in Kansas and think you need help
from a professional Olathe family law and divorce attorney,
contact Martin & Wallentine, LLC today. We can help you sort out your newfound rights and how they might
pertain to any issues you could be facing.