same-sex marriage

Politics
4:46 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Frankfort Reacts to Same-Sex Marriage Court Ruling

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.

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Regional
11:41 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Judge: Kentucky Must Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

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.

The question was not included in the lawsuit.

NPR News
11:18 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Holder Orders Equal Treatment For Married Same-Sex Couples

John Lewis (left) and Stuart Gaffney embrace outside San Francisco's City Hall shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California in June.
Noah Berger AP

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.

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Regional
4:03 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Indiana House Passes Measure Placing Gay Marriage Ban Into State Constitution

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.

Economy
11:01 am
Wed November 6, 2013

WKU Prof: Same-Sex Marriage Legalization has Little Impact on State Income Tax Receipts

The Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in June.

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?

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Regional
4:22 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Kentucky AG Won't Get Involved in Same-Sex Privilege Case

Kentucky's attorney general is staying out of a dispute on whether a law exempting spouses from testifying against each other applies to same-sex couples.

A judge in Louisville was told by a local prosecutor Friday that Attorney General Jack Conway's office doesn't intend to weigh in on the matter.

Conway's office says the state is adequately represented by the local prosecutor.

The dispute has arisen in the case of Bobbie Joe Clary, who is charged with a 2011 murder.

Prosecutors claim her partner, Geneva Case, heard Clary admit to the killing and argue she must testify because Kentucky doesn't recognize same-sex civil unions or marriages.

The couple joined into a civil union in Vermont. Defense attorneys say that denying them the same marital rights as others would violate the Constitution.

Regional
8:39 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Kentucky Judge Asks for AG's Input on Same-Sex Court Issue

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.

Law
4:35 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Citing Supreme Court, Judge Awards Benefits To Same-Sex Widow

Another barrier to recognition of same-sex marriage appears to have fallen. On Monday a federal judge ordered a law firm to pay survivor's benefits to the widow in a same-sex marriage, and on Tuesday the law firm said it was happy to comply and would not appeal.

The decision is the latest in a series of court rulings equalizing benefits for legally married same-sex couples in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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Regional
2:19 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Kentucky Couple Challenging State's Ban on Same-Sex Marriages

A Louisville couple has filed a challenge to Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages.

They're asking a federal judge to require the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries.

Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon filed suit Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Louisville. The issue of same sex marriages and rights has been a hot topic at rallies in Louisville and across the country.

Burke and Deleon are seeking an injunction to stop state and local officials from enforcing the ban written into the Kentucky constitution in 2004.

The suit is the first such challenge in the state since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

That's a federal law blocking married same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual spouses.

Politics
9:33 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Rand Paul: Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage Step Closer to Human-Animal Unions

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has suggested that Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage will move the country closer to accepting marriages between people and animals.

A spokeswoman for the Bowling Green Republican insists the Senator was being sarcastic.

Paul’s comments came during an appearance on Glenn Beck’s radio program. Beck asked the Kentucky Senator if the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act would eventually lead to the legalization of polygamous marriage. Paul responded by saying, “I think it’s a conundrum. If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further, does it have to be humans, you know?”

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