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?”
The U.S. Supreme's Court ruling Wednesday striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act does not impact Kentucky laws regarding the definition of marriage. Kentucky voters in 2004 approved an amendment to the state constitution defining a marriage as being between one man and one woman.
WKU constitutional law scholar Patty Minter says the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA concerns those in same-sex marriages being able to receive the same federal benefits as those in heterosexual marriages.
"It does not affect the definition of marriage in Kentucky, and it does not require the state of Kentucky to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It also has no impact on civil unions anywhere in the 50 states," Dr. Minter told WKU Public Radio.
Dr. Minter, a WKU History Professor, says those wanting same-sex marriage in Kentucky would likely have to get a referendum on the ballot that would repeal the 2004 state amendment.
"Or you would need another case at the U.S. Supreme Court--one that rendered all of those state marriage amendments to be moot. They would also be rendered moot if you passed a federal amendment to the Constitution that mandated that marriage rights could not be abridged based on status.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up the case of a Kentucky death row inmate awaiting execution for the slaying of three people in Adair County in 1993. The high court on Monday issued its decision without comment on the appeal brought by 39-year-old William Harry Meece.