Federal judge nixes heterosexual couple's bid to join challenge to Kansas gay marriage ban

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas — A federal judge has spurned an effort by a heterosexual couple to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the Kansas ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled Friday that Phillip and Sandra Unruh, of Harper, have no legal right to join the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas.

The Unruhs claimed in a Wednesday filing that they have a property right in their traditional marital status. They argued an adverse decision on the constitutionality of the state's same-sex marriage ban could diminish their marital status and harm their property right.

Crabtree concluded the Unruhs' interests are already represented by the Kansas attorney general's office, which is defending the ban.

But the judge also invited the couple to file a friend-of-the-court brief stating their arguments.

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