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Kentucky

Ky. AG asks federal judge to dismiss challenge to same-sex marriage ban

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s Attorney General is defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it should stand even though his office acknowledges overturning it would grant gay couples the same legal protections as straight couples.

In an 18-page filing in federal court in Louisville, Assistant Attorney General Clay Barkley asked U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Gregory Bourke and Michael De Leon.

Brett Barrouquere, APMichael De Leon (left) and Gregory Bourke.

Brett Barrouquere, AP
Michael De Leon (left) and Gregory Bourke.

Barkley wrote that the men lack standing to challenge the law.

Bourke and De Leon, who were married in Canada nine years ago, sued in July to force the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries. The men 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 Kentucky since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The act had blocked married same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual spouses.

Kentucky changed its state constitution in 2004 to include the prohibition on same-sex marriage.

The amendment reads: “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky” and “A marriage between members of the same sex which occurs in another jurisdiction shall be void in Kentucky.”

Much of the state’s filing is boilerplate legal language. But, Barkley said same-sex couples seeking to marry “are just as willing as opposite-sex couples to assume the obligations of marriage” and, if allowed to marry, would “benefit equally from the legal protections and social recognition afforded to married couples.”

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While Kentucky judges have granted adoptions to same-sex couples, the state treats them differently than opposite-sex couples by not allowing both partners to be listed as parents, Barkley said.

Bourke, a 55-year-old applications consultant at Humana, and Deleon, a 55-year-old database administrator at General Electric, were married in at Niagara Falls in Canada, in 2004.

Both men said the recent decision by the Supreme Court proved to be the impetus to challenge Kentucky’s ban.

Challenges to same-sex marriage bans have been filed in recent months in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and New Mexico. The American Civil Liberties Union has said challenges are also expected in Virginia, Nevada, Hawaii and Michigan.

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13 more reader comments:

  1. As if.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 6:55pm
  2. Shame!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:02pm
  3. Yea, like Kentucky’s attorney general is going to stand up and do what’s right.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:03pm
  4. Wish those two the best of luck.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:09pm
  5. Who wants to bed the AG is a republican.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:23pm
  6. How can you be against gays in a place abbreviated “KY”?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:27pm
  7. I sure do love that Kentucky Jelly...! haha!

    Replied on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 9:32pm
  8. that's your argument? Ha! zero substance!

    Replied on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 6:47pm
  9. u go guys

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:46pm
  10. Why should it be dismissed….. I think it is time for the Law to be Changed !!!! iTS TIME we all stand up and let our voices be heard !!! IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE LAW !~!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:03pm
  11. McConnell country……ugh

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:19pm
  12. Should we check their closets for sheets?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:33pm
  13. hahah they cant ask the judge that its not the ags place

    Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 11:16pm