Respect For Marriage Act could protect Kansas woman's marriage
After The Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act this last week members of the LGBTQIA+ community are increasingly hopeful it will become law. But, what would that mean here in Kansas?
“Our people are very nervous right now. We don't know what to think. What's going to happen? Why does somebody get to decide if our marriage is legal or not,” asked Jackie Carter, Pastor at Metropolitan Community Church.
She has been in a loving, same-gender relationship for more than 20 years and married for 12. But after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade this summer. Fears grew that the conservative majority on the high court would also overturn the 2015 court ruling. Legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
“I've had just a rash of marriages that people they've wanted to get married before the supreme court could take this up and destroy it,” said Carter.
Carter tells KAKE News, she performed same-sex weddings back in 2014 in Kansas.
She says the benefits of being represented as a same-gender couple goes beyond just recognition of an existing relationship, into the financial, something heterosexual couples have always had.
“Social security benefits can transfer, savings accounts can transfer, and your retirement programs can transfer upon death. It makes life a whole lot easier,” said Carter.
Political analyst Dr. Michael Smith at Emporia State University says passing the respect for marriage act would protect all those benefits.
“Even if the us supreme court would overturn Obergefell, same-sex marriage is still the law of the land under federal law,” said Dr. Michael Smith Professor of Political Science at Emporia State University
The Respect for Marriage Act has passed both the House and the Senate, but in two different versions which still have to be reconciled before the act can go to the president for his signature.
“Let's say that this law that we're talking about right now does not pass, and let's say that the US Supreme Court does overturn Obergefell. Then Kansas would revert to a state in which marriage is defined as being one man and one woman, and a same-sex couple would not be recognized as being married in Kansas,” said Smith.
Carter has a message for those who are against her being with who she loves.
“If our goal in marriage is to have committed loving relationships, whatever way that looks like. Then marriage is an important piece of that. That piece of paper that says you're legally married,” said Carter.