BIG SURPRISE NEWS from the state of Kentucky!
A federal judge Wednesday struck down Kentucky’s ban on recognizing valid same-sex marriages performed in other states, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II joined nine other federal and state courts in invalidating such bans. Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs … are vital to the fabric of society … assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.” Heyburn said “it is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”
While Heyburn did not rule did not rule that Kentucky must allow gay marriages to be performed in his 23-page ruling, Heyburn did say that Kentucky’s sole justification for the the amendment was that was it was “rationally related to the legitimate government interest of preserving the state’s institution of traditional marriage.”
Heyburn noted that over the past 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to allow mere tradition to justify marriage statutes that violate individual liberties, such as the ban on interracial marriages that was once the law in Virginia, Kentucky and other states.
The suit was filed on behalf of Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon of Louisville, who were married in Ontario, Canada, in 2004; Jimmy Meade and Luther Barlowe, who live in Bardstown and were lawfully married in Davenport, Iowa, in 2009; Randell Johnson and Paul Campion, who live in Louisville and were married in Riverside, Calif., in 2008; and Kimberly Franklin and Tamera Boyd, who live in Cropper and were married in Stratford, Conn., in 2010.
TRIVIA: The REPUBLICAN judge who struck down the KY ban on recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states was appointed by Mitch McConnell.