Kentucky

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; in spring 2015, the United States Supreme Court will review an out-of-step ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals about the freedom to marry in Kentucky. Learn all about the freedom to marry at the Supreme Court here.

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

On January 16, the United States Supreme Court granted review of the out-of-step ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals about the freedom to marry in Kentucky. The case will be heard on April 28, with a ruling expected by June 2015, which could bring the freedom to marry nationwide.

On July 1, 2014, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry. The decision came just a few months after he ruled that Kentucky must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. Both decisions were stayed pending further action from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. 

Gov. Beshear sought outside counsel to appeal the ruling, since KY Attorney General Jack Conway has said that the marriage ban is indefensible and that he would not appeal Judge Heyburn's decision. 

The rulings were in Love v. Beshear and Bourke and Deleon v. Beshear, a federal lawsuit filed by Fauver Law Office, later joined by Clay Daniel Walton & Adams, in July 2013. Read more about marriage litigation in Kentucky.

On November 6, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the freedom to marry. It is likely that this ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As the case makes its way up through the courts, Kentucky residents across the state will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory. They are continuing to speak out in favor of equality, working to overturn anti-marriage laws in the state so that all same-sex couples can share in the freedom to marry.

HISTORY:

In 2004, anti-gay forces in Kentucky pushed through Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any other form of legal family status. 

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE: 

  • The Fairness Campaign is an organization in Kentucky that advocates for gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 

POLLING DATA:

Support for the freedom to marry has increased dramatically in the past 8 years, with 33% of the population now supporting marriage. In 2004, just 21% were supportive. (Williams Institute, 2012)    

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

 According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 7,195 same-sex couples are living in Kentucky, representing 4.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

 

Blog Posts Related to Kentucky

PHOTOS: Advocating for the freedom to marry at the Louisville, KY town hall

Last week, on Wednesday, March 18, Freedom to Marry and the Campaign for Southern Equality were excited to host a Town Hall Metting in Louisville, Kentucky to discuss the importance of the freedom to marry in the state.

PHOTOS: Standing up for Why Marriage Matters at Lexington, Kentucky Town Hall

With just over a month before the U.S. Supreme Court's arguments, Freedom to Marry and the Campaign for Southern Equality were proud to partner on two "Why Marriage Matters" Town Hall events this week, on March 17 and 18 in Lexington and Louisville, respectively.

Dozens of amicus briefs urge the U.S. Supreme Court to end marriage discrimination

Today, March 6, final amici briefs were filed to the United States Supreme Court urging the Justices to rule in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide.

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Resources Related to Kentucky

Kentucky Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Kentucky.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

See All »