Gov. Sam Brownback reasserted his opposition to same-sex marriage Friday, but also acknowledged the possibility that the state’s constitutional ban could be vulnerable to a challenge in court.
This past month federal district court judges struck down same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma. If those decisions are upheld on appeal, they could open the door for similar bans in other states – like the one in Kansas – to also be ruled unconstitutional.
Brownback addressed the issue in a news conference with reporters.
“This is an obviously evolving situation,” Brownback said. “We’ll deal with it however the court puts it forth. The people of Kansas have voted – nearly a 70 percent vote, I think – in favor of the constitutional amendment in the state of Kansas that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
“That’s the law here. We’ll see what the courts do,” he added.
Brownback also weighed in on other controversies driving debate in Kansas.
“Every year I’ve been in office we’ve put more money into K-12 (education),” he said, pointing to charts that showed the overall number of teachers statewide has increased statewide each year he has been in office. The governor’s communications office later sent out an e-mail with data from the Department of Education that shows the student-teacher ratio across the state has stayed consistently around 15 to 1 since 2011.
“The (Obama) administration is altering Obamacare on a weekly basis. So let’s watch and see what else they do, and I think that’s frankly a prudent course. … I think Obamacare has not gone well and has been a wreck,” the governor said, explaining his decision not to expand Medicaid now. Brownback said he is focused on reducing the number of Kansans on the waiting list for Medicaid.
•Sperm donor case: “I think you just got to follow what the court and what their statutory interpretation has been,” Brownback said on a Shawnee County District Court’s ruling that a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple five years ago must now pay child support.