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County Officials Denying Same-Sex Marriage Licenses After Supreme Court Ruling

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 here.

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.