Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just In Case You're Still in Kansas, or Moving There

Some questions and answers on Kansas marriage law were printed recently in The Emporia Gazett. The answers are from Emporia attorney Tom Kruege. Unfortunately, many states have laws very much like Kansas.

This disclaimer preceded the Q & A...
DISCLAIMER: The information that you obtain regarding your inquiry is not nor is intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting me through this site does not constitute an attorney/client relationship nor do my responses constitute a legal opinion.
Now, on to just how restricted the freedom to marry is in Kansas...

Q Can parties of the same sex be married in Kansas?

A No. Marriage is defined in K.S.A. 1998 Supp. §23-101 as a “...contract between two parties of the opposite sex.” Therefore, homosexuals may not marry each other in Kansas. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. §23-115 states that same sex marriages violate Kansas public policy and such a marriage from another state will not be recognized.

Q What is the age requirement for marriage in the State of Kansas?

A K.S.A. 1998 Supp. §23-106 sets 18 as the age to marry without consent in Kansas. Under age 18, the parent or guardian and a judge of the district court must consent. A judge’s consent is not required if both parents and the legal guardians consent. If the parents are divorced, either custodial or noncustodial parent may consent to the marriage of the child. Only a district court judge’s consent is necessary if, after investigating the facts, there is no parent or guardian. Kansas does not require a judge to consent or waive parental consents if the girl is pregnant.

Q What are the restrictions on who can marry?

A K.S.A. §23-102 and §23-103 prohibit incestuous marriages. In Kansas, all marriages between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of any degree, brothers and sisters, either half or whole blood, uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews and first cousins are incestuous and absolutely void. Some states prohibit marriages between persons related by adoption. Kansas courts have not yet directly addressed that issue. However, there is a letter from the Attorney General’s Office in 1996 which indicates that an adopted brother and sister could marry in Kansas.
It is sad there is so much restriction on the love of consenting adults. Kansas, and all US states, should change their marriage laws so that an adult has the freedom to marry any consenting adults. We're getting there slowly, but we are making progress. See: Maryland, Washington, New Jersey, California, etc. Full marriage equality is going to happen. Let's make it happen sooner rather than later.

Here is a map that shows the same-sex freedom to marry.

Here is a map that shows the freedom to consanguineous sex and marriage.

There is no polygamous freedom to marry yet in the US, but some other countries do have it.
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