Legal Brief Outlines Argument in Appeal of Gay Marriage Ruling

May 9, 2014

Gov. Steve Beshear

The legal counsel hired by Gov. Steve Beshear argues out-of-state gay marriages should not be recognized, because doing so does not promote natural procreation between a man and a woman and therefore threatens Kentucky's economic stability.   

The legal brief was filed as the state appeals a federal judge’s ruling from February, striking down part of Kentucky’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. Chris Hartman, director of the Kentucky Fairness Campaign says the “procreation” argument is one that was used a generation ago.

“It’s an embarrassing and ludicrous regurgitation of some really archaic talking points," said Hartman. "It’s shocking that the governor would allow the legal team to use them.”

Judge John Heyburn’s ruling earlier this year declared Kentucky’s gay marriage ban violated the equal protection clause.  The brief filed by Beshear’s legal team argues that because same-sex partners can’t naturally procreate, they aren’t entitled to equal treatment under the state’s marriage laws.  

“It’s a scourge upon the governor’s previous record on LGBT fairness issues in the state. It’s disappointing for all of us who believed that he would always stand up for all Kentuckians,” said Hartman.

Beshear hired a private law firm after attorney general Jack Conway declined to appeal the judge’s decision.