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Kentucky

Federal judge weighing challenge to Ky. same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge in Louisville is weighing the fate of Kentucky’s ban on same sex marriages as similar laws around the country have been overturned.

Two cases brought to try to force the state to recognize same sex marriages have been fully briefed and submitted to U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II

Among the filings were decisions by federal judges in Oklahoma and Utah striking down laws in those states.

While Heyburn, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, isn’t bound by decisions in other federal districts and hasn’t indicated when he’ll rule, attorneys for the two couples seeking to have their marriages recognized are hoping the logic behind those rulings will come into play in their own cases.

“Realistically, all the other judges are looking to see what’s going on,” said Shannon Fauver, who represents two men seeking to have their marriage in Canada recognized in Kentucky. “It is a sea change that all the states are going this way.”

Judges in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah have all ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. Gay marriages in Utah have been put on hold pending a decision from the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the Kentucky cases, Gregory Bourke and Michael De Leon sued in July to force the state to recognize their marriage as legal. In August, Kimberly Franklin and Tamera Boyd filed to have their marriage recognized as well.

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Laura E. Landewich, a Louisville attorney handling the case of the two women, said the Oklahoma and Utah cases “have given us additional legal analysis and perspectives, which we hope will be persuasive and also serve as a guide for the ruling in our case.”

Kentucky officials, in court filings, have said none of the four plaintiffs has standing to sue and that the state has an obligation to defend “traditional marriage” as outlined in the state’s constitution.

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.

According to the 2010 Census, about 2,800 same-sex couples are raising children in Kentucky. De Leon is the father of an adopted 15-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl. Bourke has been designated a legal guardian for the children.

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28 more reader comments:

  1. Bit of a domino effect going on

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:43pm
  2. MOMENTUM is building.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:46pm
  3. We should be able to get married to who ever want too. I am gay myself me and my boyfriend want to get married

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:48pm
  4. Look for these lawsuits to keep coming. The door has been opened by the courts! Let the Constitution win!!!! :D

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:51pm
  5. Well since I live smack dab in the middle of this shitty scab of a state, I’ll get to witness first hand when equality comes all the bible thumpin, bacon eatin baptist bigots heads start exploding. ILL TAKE PICTURES!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:51pm
  6. I cannot wait to see the pictures.

    Replied on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:50pm
  7. IT’S HAPPENING!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:52pm
  8. Awesome–beginning to look like my kid brothers’ domino designs! One after another!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:53pm
  9. I sure hope the ban gets lifted. It might help with the way people treat us around here.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:57pm
  10. AWWWWWW YES! PLEASE MAKE IT LEGAL HERE!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 11:03pm
  11. It would be very nice if the state I’ve lived in my whole life would finally respect my marriage lol Fingers crossed :)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 11:08pm
  12. It is unconstitutional.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 11:08pm
  13. Probably just jealous a gay man can get more p**** than he can.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 11:35pm
  14. Momentum!!! Boom!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 11:52pm
  15. Well Kentucky did remove the sodomy laws. It may have only been recently but it’s a start, maybe Kentucky will recognize gay marriage before Ohio, pissing off Cincinnati and for fear of being out done, will push for marriage equality in Ohio.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:11am
  16. I so hope ky will put an end to this stupid ban. But i agree we are in the Bible belt so people will be pulling out the bible all over it its going to be tiresome hearing about this in church im just over in the corner going hey hey guys you do know i like girls right i mean i like men too but yeah can we condeming me to hell please

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:15am
  17. I will help take pics when this is overturned. It would be a happy day for me because it would mean my godfather could get married and have his marriage recognized here. Soon it will be everywhere, let the momentum build

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:20am
  18. There should be no damn WEIGHING…it is a CONTRACT!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:41am
  19. The hell with Kentucky 3 more year I’m leaving Kentucky can be shity with out me

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:45am
  20. Virginia is not too far behind either guys! We have a number of court cases going on right now in federal court in Virginia, and our state legislature is bravely taking up this issue, even though they do not have a majority. “They” being our elected Democratic Leaders! We are so thankful that the top 3 posts in Virginia, the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Lieutenant Governor, are all now run by the Democratic Party! Our new Governor, Terry McAuliffe, promised before he was elected that he would sign a gay marriage bill into law! So there! That’s a big one for you to suck on Ken Cuccinelli! It is so funny to see the red states losing this battle! And as y’all have recognized, it has been one after the other! Yes for sure, boom, boom, BOOM, KAPOW, BAM! :-D

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:46am
  21. Did I miss the underlying case?

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:05am
  22. Diane Sawyer. .help us out in your beloved KY!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:36am
  23. Soon!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 5:06am
  24. from my understanding (being from kentucky) northern and central (louisville/lexington) are more secular and open-minded. Hope the many can outtake the bigots.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 5:58am
  25. We really need national support here in KY .

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 6:13am
  26. Im on the ky side of this battle!

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 11:52am
  27. The time is now. Marriage across the US will be both for straight and gays. It’s about time.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:12pm
  28. There is nothing to weigh!!! The XIV Amendment makes the decision very clear and concise!!! Just do it and get it over with. Time to make this the law of the land.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:50pm