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 that same-sex couples must have the freedom to marry in the state. The decisions are now on appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, with the rulings stayed.
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 are 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.
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.
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.
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
This year, photographer Kevin Truong set out on a mission: To photograph as many different gay men in as many different places around the world as he could. Check out these 7 wonderful new stories from same-sex couples in states across the country where Kevin has traveled to in the past few months.
Today, August 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit heard oral arguments in six landmark marriage cases out of four different states - Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The three-judge panel today will be considering six different District Court rulings that have enthusiastically affirmed the freedom to marry or respect for marriages performed in other states. Here are key excerpts from each!
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".