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TheChat: ACLU chief insists that Gov. Sam Brownback’s executive order is meaningless

Same-sex marriage in Kansas
Same-sex marriage in Kansas

Good morning.

▪ “Today’s executive order is unnecessary.” — Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas, on the same-sex marriage order that Gov. Sam Brownback issued Tuesday.

Brownback’s decree was aimed at protecting clergy from performing same-sex marriages “that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs,” the Republican governor said. But Kubic of the ACLU said that religious institutions have never been required to marry anyone outside their faith traditions. And, he said, the Supreme Court ruling does not change that, making Brownback’s order pointless.

▪ “While we disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court, it is important that all Kansans be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.” — Brownback in a statement about the executive order he signed.

In his statement, Brownback acknowledged his obligation to govern “in accordance with the Constitution” as determined by the Supreme Court. In explaining his order “protecting the religious freedom of Kansas clergy,” Brownback added this, “We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans and should be protected.” Brownback is playing it cautiously here — trying to adhere to the court’s ruling and thereby avoiding an avalanche of negative publicity if the state balked, but still insisting on his opposition to same-sex marriage to placate religious conservatives.

▪ “I am pleased the court ruling affirmed what many of us have been saying all along – our schools have suffered significant budget cuts and the consequences are putting our children at risk.” — Kansas state Rep. Melissa Rooker, a Fairway Republican, commenting in a newsletter about the recent Shawnee District Court ruling on school funding.

Rooker notes that “the battle is far from over” and it’s now up to the Legislature to bring school funding into legal compliance. But no one will act until the state Supreme Court rules and settles this thing for good.

▪ “Logically flawed.” — St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joseph Walsh II tossing out a demand that St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCullough be investigated for his handling of the Michael Brown case in Ferguson.

Walsh insisted that McCullough had “faithfully performed his duty.” (link via johncombest.com).

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