Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; a federal judge has ruled that the state must respect marriages between same-sex couples legally performed in other states, and the decision is expected to be appealed by Gov. Beshear.
On February 11, 2014, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking respect for marriages between same-sex couples performed legally in other states. Shortly after, an unmarried couple in Kentucky requested to intervene in the case, arguing that same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry in Kentucky.
Gov. Beshear has said that he will seek 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 ruling was in Bourke and Deleon v. Beshear, a federal lawsuit filed by private lawyers in July 2013. In a separate suit, Kentucky Equality Federation v. Beshear, private lawyers are also arguing in favor of marriage for same-sex couples. Additionally, one lawsuit invoves a married same-sex couple seeking to divorce. Read more about marriage litigation in Kentucky.
Marriage supporters across the state 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.
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:
- Kentucky Fairness Alliance is Kentucky's central statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
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
Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Director Marc Solomon appeared on MSNBC to talk about a historic new poll released this week tracking record high numbers in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide.
This guest column was written by Summer Davies on behalf of herself, her wife Sarah, and their daughter Kate. Now, with their Governor indicating that he will appeal the ruling, the couple speaks out about their family and urges their governor to stop standing in the way of equality.
Today, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced that he would not appeal a federal judge's Feb. 12 opinion ordering the state to respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states.
Resources Related to Kentucky
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Kentucky.
Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".