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Kansas Political, Religious Leaders React To Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states and their unions must be recognized. The decision was 5-4.

Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states, including Kansas, and the District of Columbia. The court's ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

[Read the full Obergefell v. Hodges ruling here.]

The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration.

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Credit Abigail Wilson file photo
Jackie Carter

Jackie Carter, the pastor at First Metropolitan Community Church in Wichita, performed the first same-sex weddings in Sedgwick County in November of last year.

“We couldn't be happier that the Supreme Court has ruled in the way that we believe God sees humankind, which is that we are all created equal and so we just couldn't be happier that this has happened,” Carter says.

Carl Kemme, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, released a prepared statement on the decision, saying “the Catholic Church will continue to proclaim its teaching that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman, while at the same time always respecting the dignity of persons who experience same sex attraction.”

"The Catholic Church consistently and clearly teaches that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman. In spite of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the state’s authority to prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex, the Catholic Church will continue to proclaim its teaching, while at the same time always respecting the dignity of persons who experience same sex attraction. The welfare of children, who deserve both a mother and a father and the foundation of a stable society, demand and call for the dignity of marriage between one man and one woman who by God’s design and the natural order complement each other." - The Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback also commented on the decision, saying, "Activist courts should not overrule the people of this state, who have clearly supported the Kansas Constitution's definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. We will review the ruling carefully to understand its effects on the people of Kansas."

Others, including President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, reacted to the Supreme Court's decision on twitter:

The states affected by the ruling are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, and most of Missouri.

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Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter, @AbigailKMUW