LGBT rights in Kansas
|LGBT rights in Kansas|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 2003|
|Gender identity/expression||Altering sex on birth certificate requires sex reassignment surgery|
|Discrimination protections||Within Government employment only|
|Adoption||Stepparent adoption illegal|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Kansas face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Kansas. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples do not have the same protections as opposite-sex couples.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
The U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas rendered laws banning consensual sexual activity unenforceable, including that of Kansas. State v. Limon, the first case decided under the Lawrence precedent, invalidated a provision of the state's Romeo and Juliet law that assigned harsher sentences in statutory rape cases where the parties were of the same sex.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Kansas voters adopted a constitutional amendment in April 2005 that said "Marriage shall be constituted by one man and one woman only" and banned granting the "rights or incidents" of marriage to other relationships. Similar restrictions appear in state statutes as well. Lawrence is the only jurisdiction in Kansas to offer domestic partnership benefits.
Adoption and parenting
In November 2012, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled in the case In the Matter of the Adoption of I. M. that a single person who is not a biological parent of a child cannot petition to adopt that child without terminating the other parent's parental rights. Since Kansas does not recognize same-sex marriages, this ruling effectively prevents same-sex couples from second-parent adoption in Kansas. However, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled on February 22, 2013, in Frazier v. Goudschaal that a partner of a biological parent is entitled to parental rights.
Kansas law prohibits discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity in government employment. Lawrence is the only jurisdiction in Kansas to have sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited in government and private employment. Salina and Hutchinson had previously have sexual orientation or gender identity prohibited in government and private employment until the November 2012 election when voters of both cities repealed both anti-discrimination ordinances.
Hate crime laws
Kansas's hate crimes law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.
A February 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 39% of Kansas voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 51% thought it should be illegal and 9% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 63% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 34% supporting same-sex marriage, 29% supporting civil unions, 34% opposing all legal recognition and 3% not sure.
- New York Times: "Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Law Banning Sodomy," June 26, 2003, access April 16, 2011
- State v. Limon, 280 Kan. 275, 122 P.3d 22, October 21, 2005.
- New York Times: "Kansas: Voters Approve Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage," April 6, 2005, accessed April 16, 2011
- State Library of Kansas: Kansas Constitution, Article XV, section 16, accessed April 16, 2011
- Human Resources Campaign: Kansas Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law , accessed April 16, 2011
- In re I. M. (Kan. Ct. App. 2012). Text
- http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/Opinions/SupCt/2013/20130222/103487.pdf. Retrieved 2013-11-02. Missing or empty
- Johnson, Chris. Kansas governor signs executive order banning employment discrimination against public employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Human Rights Campaign. 2007-08-31. Accessed: 2011-01-26.
- "Salina & Hutchinson repeal anti-discrimination protections". Retrieved 2013-11-02.[dead link]
- Human Resources Campaign: Kansas Hate Crimes Law, accessed April 16, 2011
- "Pat Roberts anonymous to many Kansas voters" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-02.