- April 23, 2015
- Posted by: admin
- Category: News
The marriage laws of Kentucky treat homosexuals and heterosexuals the same and are non discriminatory in nature. Kentucky, like 33 other states, has exercised its broad authority to regulate domestic relations by adopting a traditional man-woman definition of marriage. The Kentucky legislature has passed a number of statutes recognizing that same-sex marriages are against Kentucky public policy, including KY. REV. STAT. ANN. §§ 402.005, 402.020(1) (d), 402.040(2), and 402.045.
Initially, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky decided that Ky. Const. § 233A denied the right to marry between same-sex couples in Kentucky, as they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and thus were void and unenforceable. Love v. Beshear, 989 F. Supp. 2d 536 (W.D. Ky. 2014). On an appeal by Governor Steve Beshear, the Sixth Circuit reversed the decision of the federal district court by upholding the rights of the states to regulate the licensure and recognition of marriage within their borders. Id.
A writ of certiorari was then filed to the Supreme Court of the United States by the petitioners on November 20, 2014, which the Court granted on January 16, 2015. In response to the writ, the Governor stated in his brief that Kentucky has never defined marriage to include same sex couples and the “Kentucky courts have long established that such unions do not constitute a marriage.” Bourke v. Beshear, No. 14-574 (March 27, 2015). Based on the above mentioned submission, he argues that the State’s ban on same sex marriage is not discriminatory because it applies to straight people too.
The same will now be heard as oral arguments by the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015, with proposed arguments on current bans especially in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Similar briefs have also been filed to the Supreme Court in March 2015; one by lawyers of the Justice Department and the other involving 379 companies asking the court to side with same-sex marriage.