Judge who played key role in Kansas' first gay marriage to retire

Published: Mar. 26, 2019 at 12:03 PM CDT
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A judge who played a key role in Kansas's first same-sex marriage has announced his retirement.

The Kansas Office of Judicial Administration says Johnson County District Judge Kevin Moriarty will retire on June 28.

In October 2014, Moriarty ordered the county to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage.

Moriarty said at the time that his ruling was meant to avoid confusion about the legal climate surrounding gay marriages. His ruling led to the state's first same-sex wedding and a contentious legal fight.

A failed drive was started to oust Moriarty from the bench before the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately declared a nationwide right to same-sex marriage in June 2015.