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.”
Clerks across Kentucky are awaiting legal guidance on when and how to handle requests for name changes and other legal benefits of marriage from same-sex couples a day after a federal judge officially struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
Jefferson County clerk's spokesman Nore Ghibaudy says as of Friday state officials have offered no notice that the law has changed.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II is scheduled to meet with attorneys in the case Friday afternoon about a request by the Kentucky attorney general's office to delay the ruling overturning the ban.
Attorneys for one couple say two of their clients went to a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Bardstown earlier in the day for a name change and were turned away.
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.”
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he supports a federal judge's opinion that requires Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The Floyd County Democrat doesn't think it will affect House elections this fall, where Democrats will defend a narrow 8-seat majority over Republicans.
“Whether you like it or not, that’s what the law says. Whether you like it or not, everybody’s rights need to be recognized by the constitution in equal manner. And that’s what the court found and that’s the state of the law," Stumbo said.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says he is awaiting a final order in the case before he issues an opinion on the ruling or decides whether to appeal.
It was a very different time in 2004, politically and socially. George W. Bush was poised to sail into a second term in the White House. Hearings in Saddam Hussein’s war crimes trial began in earnest. And “Shrek 2” was making millions at the box office.
And Kentucky, along with 10 other states, voted to ban same-sex marriages.
Ten years ago, Kentucky's lawmakers and residents approved an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn knocked the legal footing out from under the measure, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.
Heyburn's ruling only means the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed outside of Kentucky. But it looks to be a matter of time before another case comes along seeking to throw the entire amendment out.
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.
Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 1:04 pm
Attorney General Eric Holder has for the first time directed Justice Department employees to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent under the law," a move with far-ranging consequences for how such couples are treated in federal courtrooms and proceedings.
Indiana's House of Representatives has approved a proposal that would write the state's gay marriage ban into the constitution.
The Republican-led House narrowly voted 57-40 Tuesday in favor of the measure. The proposed ban now heads to the Indiana Senate.
The vote followed weeks of uncertainty for a measure that swept through the General Assembly with ease just three years ago.
"This amendment has jumped the shark," said Democratic Rep. Mat Pierce, who voted against the measure. "History has really passed it by. And that’s why I think we need to give up on it."
The House measure leaves open the door for approval of civil unions and employer benefits for same-sex couples. It also would potentially reset the clock on Indiana's lengthy process of amending the constitution.
But Senate Republicans could potentially place the measure back on course to appear on the November ballot.
WKU Economics Professor Susane Leguizamon talks about her research detailing the effects same-sex marriage could have on federal and state income tax receipts.
The debate over same-sex marriage is one that has heated up this year, with the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which blocked the federal government from recognizing gay marriage. Seven states in 2013 saw same sex marriage legalized through court order, laws passed by state legislatures, or through popular vote.
WKU Economics Professor Susane Leguizamon has conducted some research about an aspect of same sex marriage that most people probably haven't thought about: namely, what would the impact of nationwide gay marriage be on federal and state income tax receipts?
The research conducted by Prof. Leguizamon and her two co-authors finds 23 state would see a new fiscal benefit from same sex marriage legalization, while 21 would see a decline. Seven states wouldn't be impacted in this way since they don't have income taxes.
You can request a copy of the research by emailing Prof. Leguizamon here.
Here are some excerpts from our conversation with Prof. Leguizamon:
How would same-sex marriage legalization impact the income tax revenues of the three states in our listening area: Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana?