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The Topeka Capital-Journal - Gov. Sam Brownback, Kansas Congressional Delegation Slam U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

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by Jonathan Shorman and Justin Wingerter

Gov. Sam Brownback slammed the Supreme Court's decision Friday extending the right to marry to same-sex couples nationwide.

"Activist courts should not overrule the people of this state, who have clearly supported the Kansas Constitution's definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman," Brownback said.

Kansas voters approved an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex unions in 2004.

On his Facebook page Friday, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach called the ruling "one of the most poorly-reasoned and damaging opinions of our lifetimes."

"For five unelected justices to pretend that the Fourteenth Amendment empowers them to INVENT an entirely new constitutional right out of whole cloth (without any input from Congress or the States) is outrageous," the former constitutional law professor wrote.

"'We the People' no longer control the content of our Constitution. The Constitution is now whatever five justices say it is," Kobach added. "Make no mistake, this opinion had nothing to do with interpreting the text of the Constitution or applying previous legal precedents. This opinion was all about REWRITING the Constitution to reshape our nation according to the liberal preferences of our five rulers. It is a very sad day for the Constitution and the rule of law."

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins offered a short and temperate response, agreeing with Brownback that "our Constitution intends these types of decisions to be made not by the court, but by the people."

"However, I am proud to live in a country where we have religious freedom and where our government does not force us to violate our beliefs. We must continue to protect that right," Jenkins, a Republican, said.

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a tea party Republican and one of the loudest critics of same-sex marriage in Congress, took to Twitter for a diatribe that was neither short nor temperate.

"#SCOTUS imposes its radical views on entirety of America -- attempts to marginalize 50 million American votes who support real #marriage," one tweet said.

Huelskamp said the decision "will be used to villify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy."

"Legalizing homosexual marriage today criminalizes opposition to it tomorrow. #SCOTUS #ReligiousLiberty," the 1st District representative wrote.

"This is nothing more than a constitutional convention by an unelected committee of five. #Arrogance #marriage #SCOTUS," another tweet stated.

Huelskamp expanded on his tweets with an email to reporters Friday afternoon.

"True marriage is between one man and one woman -- no Court can change that truth. But with this opinion, these five judicial "ministers' have not only bestowed their blessing on "homosexual marriages' but, as Justice Roberts outlines, all plural unions," Huelskamp said.

"Those who support "homosexual marriage' are already demanding that government intimidate and coerce us to accept this radical redefinition," the congressman added.

Huelskamp called on Congress to consider "without delay" his 2013 amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as consisting only between one man and one woman, along with his First Amendment Defense Act. Huelskamp says the FADA protects the religious liberties of American citizens, though critics argue it would give federal employees a license to discriminate against LGBT individuals.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the state's southern 4th District, said he was "deeply saddened" by the ruling "that imposes legalized gay marriage" on the majority of Kansans who voted for the constitutional amendment.

"Creating, out of nowhere, a federal right to marry, flies in the face of centuries of shared understanding of our Constitution," Pompeo said in an email Friday. "It is a shocking abuse of power. It is wrong. I will continue to fight to protect our most sacred institutions; Kansans and our nation deserve no less."


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