OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A judge in a northeast Kansas county has ordered it to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following actions earlier this week by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Johnson County Chief District Judge Kevin Moriarty issued the order Wednesday, saying the order was meant to avoid confusion about the legal climate surrounding same-sex marriages.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage. One of them was Utah, which is in the same federal appeals court circuit as Kansas.
The Kansas Constitution has banned gay marriage since 2005.
Kansas women seek license but already feel married
Two women who are seeking the first same-sex marriage license in Johnson County say they already feel married because they've been together nine years.
Angela and Jennifer Schaefer, of Gardner, went to the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe on Wednesday to sign up for a marriage license.
They did so shortly after Judge Moriarty ordered court clerks to issue licenses to same-sex couples. They were the only couple to do so.
The couple has a 9-month-old son. Angela Schaefer is 31 and Jennifer Schaefer is 28 and took Angela's last name in 2012.
Angela Schaefer said she believes getting married will ensure that she has full parental rights to their son.