Gov. Steve Beshear says his appeal of a judge's order to recognize same-sex marriages is meant to clarify the law. Beshear acknowledges that marriage equality supporters are disappointed with his decision to mount an appeal, even though Attorney General Jack Conway has opted not to.
Beshear says the appeal is needed to get the matter settled as quickly as possible and without Conway on the case, Beshear has sent out a request for proposals for attorneys to handle the state’s appeal.
While he refuses to state his personal opinion on gay marriage, Beshear contends that an appeal is the quickest way to get the matter settled, and that he and Conway simply reached different conclusions.
“We had a lot of conversations about this issue, and as I said, he wrestled with it, and I wrestled with it,” said Beshear. “We ended up coming to different conclusions. And I respect the decision he made, and I think he respects mine.”
A Republican state senator says he intends to file a bill that would permit a third-party to appeal a ruling that says Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
Sen. Dan Seum tells Kentucky Public Radio that if Attorney General Jack Conway decides not to appeal a decision by Judge John Heyburn that nullifies the state’s ban on gay marriage, his bill would allow others to do so.
“We’re looking at the potential to file legislation that would allow some other group or some other person to intervene in the ruling other than the Attorney General," the Jefferson County Republican said. "Right now, as I understand it, only the Attorney General can intervene in this case, so we would maybe look at legislation that we could actually allow someone else to do that.”
A spokeswoman for Conway’s office says that the law doesn’t need to be changed and that Conway has defended the law appropriately to date.
Conway has asked for a 90-day stay to decide whether or not to appeal the ruling, which allows out-of-state same-sex couples to be legally recognized in the state of Kentucky.
A Lexington couple is celebrating a federal judge’s final ruling that orders Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Ross Ewing has been with his partner for eight years. The couple had planned to marry this summer in New York.
“By happy coincidence, we were and still are, planning on being in New York on the first weekend in June which is our anniversary. My partner sings in Lexington Singers and they are performing in Carnegie Hall that weekend. We were just going to get married while we were up there,” explained Ewing.
Now, Ewing says the couple is thinking about waiting a little longer for the opportunity to get married in their home state. With the ruling partially lifting Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, Ewing believes it’s only a matter of time before Kentucky fully legalizes gay marriage.
“I just cannot help but see the comparison to inter-racial marriage. That didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen in all 50 states simultaneously, but it happened, and I just can’t help but see the parallel.”
A federal judge has signed an order directing officials in Kentucky to immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II on Thursday issued a final order throwing out part of the state's ban on gay marriages. The order makes official his Feb. 12 ruling that Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages treated "gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them."
The order means same-sex couples may change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky. The order doesn't affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Kentucky's attorney general has asked for a delay, which hasn't been ruled upon.
Attorneys for gay couples seeking formal recognition of their out-of-state marriages say a federal judge is expected to sign a final order in the case by the end of the week.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II earlier this month threw part of the state's ban on gay marriages. The ruling only applies to couples married in other states or countries.
A final order would mean same-sex couples may change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky. But Heyburn's ruling doesn't affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Kentucky attorney general's office has not sought to delay the ruling as of Wednesday afternoon.
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, striking down part of the state ban.
In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that Kentucky's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a "way that demeans them." The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004. The out-of-state clause was part of it.
The decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.
Heyburn did not rule on whether the state could be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
Indiana’s House and Senate Democratic leaders are asking their Republican counterparts to avoid a gay marriage battle during the 2014 session.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and Senate Minority Tim Lanane said a fight on the highly charged issue would keep lawmakers from addressing more important matters during their upcoming session. Lawmakers returned Tuesday to the Capitol for a formal, one-day meeting before they begin the 2014 session in January.
Social conservative groups are pushing lawmakers to write the state’s ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. If they win passage during the session, the issue would go to voters next November.
Opponents of the amendment who include members of the business and higher education communities argue that it will paint Indiana as an unfriendly state.
A Kentucky judge is seeking input from the state attorney general's office before deciding whether a law exempting spouses from testifying against each other applies to two women in a civil union from Vermont.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson says the attorney general's office should be given a chance to respond.
The Courier-Journal reports the case has become the first legal test in the state over forcing same-sex partners to testify against each other.
Prosecutors say Geneva Case heard her spouse, Bobbie Joe Clary, admit to killing a man two years ago and saw her clean blood out of the man's van and abandon it in Southern Indiana. Case has told the prosecution she will not testify, invoking the "Husband-Wife" privilege under state law, according to court records.