Federal judge strikes down Kansas ban on marriage equality
John Lucas stands in front of a rainbow flag at the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California on June 29, 2014. Photo by Noah Berger for Reuters.

A Kansas ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution and must be overturned, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree granted a preliminary injunction on behalf of same-sex couples who had challenged the state's ban on gay marriage and put the ruling on hold until Nov. 11 to give Kansas an opportunity to appeal.

The decision, if upheld, would add to more than a dozen states where same-sex marriage has become legal since the U.S. Supreme Court said on Oct. 6 that it would not review recent U.S. appeals court decisions that struck down state bans.

Crabtree said the stay would give Kansas officials time to prepare and it could end sooner if the state informs the court that it will not ask for an appeals court review.

The Kansas ban on gay marriage was expected to be overturned after the U.S. Supreme Court announcement. Kansas is in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which struck down bans in Oklahoma and Utah.

Crabtree said he was bound by the 10th Circuit decision and ruled that Kansas must allow gay couples to marry and recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples performed elsewhere.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas challenged the ban on behalf of two lesbian couples who were denied marriage licenses in October.

The number of states in which same-sex marriages may be performed jumped to 32 from 19 within two weeks of the U.S. Supreme Court's announcement.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Kansas; Editing by Jim Loney and Mohammad Zargham)

The full decision, as posted by Talking Points Memo, can be read below.

2014 11 04 Marie v. Moser Kansas by tpmdocs

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