Shawnee County now accepting same-sex marriage applications

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Same-sex couples can now start filling out marriage license applications in Shawnee County.

The chief judge of the Shawnee County District Court today ordered the court clerk to start handing out the license applications – even though same-sex marriage is illegal in Kansas.

As of Thursday, only one of Kansas’ 105 counties said it will give same sex couples a marriage license, that’s Johnson County.

“Well Tessy’s been awake since 3 a.m. because she was so anxious and excited to be here,” Quinta Avance.

Quinta Avance and Tessa Best drove from Topeka to Kansas City to Apply for something they’ve waited more than a decade for.

“12-years,” said Tessa Best.

State recognition of their marriage would be life changing.

“To be able to add Tessy and our 4 children, our three children now that would qualify for benefits… it’s a huge thing,” said Avance.

But, judges are telling couples an application is not a guarantee of an actual license.

Shawnee County Chief District Judge Evelyn Wilson said, “The Court states until law is changed or there is a binding court ruling stating that the provision of the Kansas Constitution limiting marriage is unconstitutional, no same-sex marriage licenses will be issued.”

Other judge is Kansas face the same dilemma.

“At present I am still awaiting something of a final determination that would be uniformed across the state of Kansas and hoping that something like that happened soon,” said James Fleetwood, Chief Judge in Sedgwick County.

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