Harper couple ask to intervene in ACLU same-sex marriage lawsuit

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Harper, KS man and wife have filed a federal lawsuit to intervene in the suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to overturn Kansas ban on same-sex marriages.

The suit was filed by Phillip W. and Sandra L. Unrush of Harper, and names the head of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Clerk of Courts in Douglas and Sedgwick counties.

In the suit, the couple say that overturning Kansas Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage would, in effect, lead to the “taking of their property rights in marriage without due process of law.”

The suit, which contains several bible references, also notes “At the very least, same-gender marriage is a new social phenomenon with unknown outcomes and the State could choose to exercise caution.”

In their motion to intervene in the ACLU’s suit, the couple state, “Clearly the Plaintiffs seek to redefine the marriage word the Unruhs and thousands like them in Kansas use to describe their relationship in order to extend marriage to them. If Plaintiffs are successful marriage will no longer be as it has been defined.”

Thursday, U.S. district Court Judge Daniel Crabtree canceled a hearing scheduled for October 24th on the ACLU’s suit and is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on the parties’ written arguments.

In making his decision during a 30-minute conference call Thursday evening, the judge noted the civil rights group’s argument they had not had time to review the state’s written response to the lawsuit because it had just been filed.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, with the backing of Governor Sam Brownback, says the state will defend it’s Constitutional amendment that marriage is defined as being behind a man and a woman.

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