Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; on April 28, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on the freedom to marry in Kentucky. A ruling is expected later this summer. Learn all about the freedom to marry at the Supreme Court here.
On April 28, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on the freedom to marry in Kentucky, with a ruling expected late summer 2015.
The United States Supreme Court granted review in the cases Love v. Beshear and Bourke and Deleon v. Besehar on January 16, 2015. The review was granted after the 6th Circuit ruled to uphold the marriage ban in Kentucky in an out-of-step ruling on November 6, 2014.
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.
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 in July 2013 by Fauver Law Office, later joined by Clay Daniel Walton & Adams, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Stanford Law School's Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Read more about marriage litigation in Kentucky.
On November 6, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the freedom to marry.
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.
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.
- The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms throughout the country.
- The Campaign for Southern Equality is a national effort to assert the full humanity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in American life and to increase public support for LGBT rights.
- 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 month, on April 28, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the question of the freedom to marry in cases from four states: Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Yesterday, April 16, the Associated Press published 15 profiles exploring the personal stories of the people who are putting their families, lives, and love in the spotlight to fight for the freedom to marry across the nation.
Yesterday, April 16, a Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate in Kentucky ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for two same-sex couples in the state, putting the decision on hold until the United States Supreme Court rules on the question of the freedom to marry later this year.
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".