Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

State News

July 1, 2014

Judge strikes down Kentucky gay marriage ban

FRANKFORT — A federal judge has ruled that “even sincere and long-held religious beliefs” do not trump the constitutional rights of gay couples or their right to marry in Kentucky.

Federal District Judge John G. Heyburn II put a stay on today’s ruling in light of multiple cases on gay marriage pending before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, including an earlier ruling by Heyburn that Kentucky must recognize valid marriages between same-sex couples performed in other states.

Heyburn subsequently agreed to hear a case by other same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in Kentucky and Monday’s ruling applies to that second suit.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who filed the appeal of Heyburn’s earlier ruling, said Monday he will appeal the latest ruling as well.

“Now that Judge Heyburn has issued his opinion on this portion of the case, we will be appealing the decision so that the matter is fully before the Sixth Circuit, where these same issues from other states are already scheduled to be decided by the Sixth Circuit,” Beshear said.

Leigh Latherow, an attorney for the Ashland law firm hired by Beshear to argue the cases after Conway declined, made the same argument in the second suit as the state advanced the first time and arguing on appeal — that only traditional marriage contributed to the state’s economic interests in birth rates.

“These arguments are not those of serious people,” Heyburn wrote in Monday’s ruling.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

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