Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, calling part of a state ban unconstitutional for denying gays and lesbians equal protection under the law.

The state’s law banning state marriage, he said, treated "gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them."

In a 23-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that the government may define marriage and attach benefits to it, but cannot "impose a traditional or faith-based limitation" without a sufficient justification for it."

"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 wrote.

The decision came in lawsuits brought by three gay couples and one lesbian couple seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

Among them was Gregory Bourke, a 55-year-old Louisville, Ky., man who has been in a relationship with his partner Michael Deleon for 31 years. The couple was married in Canada in 2004 and have two teenaged children.

"The word was it could happen any time and I wasn't prepared for it," Bourke told The Associated Press. "It's what we hoped for."

Collectively, the couples argued that the state denied them rights and benefits that married opposite-sex couples enjoy, such as an inheritance tax exemption when one spouse dies.

Heyburn’s ruling made Kentucky one of 10 states where state or federal judges have issued similar rulings about same-sex marriage bans.

Read the rest here.


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I've been hoping that something like this would happen.  That it happened in Kentucky, a state hardly amenable to same-sex marriage, makes it all the better.  What I hope this heralds is an eventual move to federally guaranteed rights for same-sex couples, as well as the eventual complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

We seem to be getting there.  One step at a time, we are indeed getting to EQUAL.

Tags: Kentucky, federal judge, same-sex marriage

Views: 70

Replies to This Discussion

And this "activist judge" was recommended by Mitch McConnell and nominated by George H. W. Bush!

Oh ... sorta like Judge John E. Jones III of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision???  Ummm ... OOPS!

This is, indeed, wonderful news.  The Judge's statements concisely state the crux of this decision:

The state’s law banning state marriage, he said, treated "gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them."

"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 wrote.

It's really quite a simple concept that the religious haven't been able to comprehend.  Well, they are finding out that their influence and the bubble in which they live in is getting smaller and smaller and will soon pop out of existence. 

Would that the religion that spawned their bigotry could do the exact same thing - disappear!  Sadly, that's going to require a LOT more work!

@ FA, do you, or anyone else, know why straight people feel that gays being married takes something away from their own marriages? I must be very dense because I just don't see it.
That's the million dollar, unanswered question, k.h. The homophobes keep claiming that equality is going to negatively affect them and their marriage, but they just can't seem to come up with a specific explanation of how.

This is purely a guess, but because their god / bible treats homosexuality as an "abomination," they figure that gay marriage has to be in the same boat.  I see that combined with the compulsion that a lot of evangelical christian have to have someone to look down on, the whole "we're-forgiven-you're-not" routine.

But as Carl said, they have NO concrete reasons, because there are none TO have.  What they have is their religion-taught bigotry, and for some benighted reason, they cling to that.

Ilove this. With Ky ssetting the gold standard for the new health care laws and now this maybe Ky is going to prove itself a state that can change with the times. Maybe even pull ahead of the others.
Way to go Judge Heyburn...

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