Judge with role in Kansas’ first gay marriage to retire

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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 said in a news release that Johnson County District Judge Kevin Moriarty will retire June 28.

In October 2014, he 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. He said at the time that the ruling was meant to avoid confusion about the legal climate surrounding gay marriages.

It led to the state’s first same-sex wedding and a contentious legal fight. A failed drive was started to oust Moriarty before the nation’s Supreme Court declared a nationwide right to same-sex marriage the following June.

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