News (USA)

Ky. Senate approves bill aimed at AG’s refusal to defend gay marriage ban

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Senate reacted Monday to the attorney general’s refusal to appeal a ruling allowing state recognition of same-sex marriages, passing a bill that would allow top legislative leaders to intervene in such situations.

Attorney General Jack Conway (D-Ky.)
Attorney General Jack Conway (D-Ky.)

The measure would enable the state Senate president or House speaker to intervene in a court case when the attorney general or governor fail to defend a state law or part of the state constitution. The measure passed 31-6 and now goes to the House.

The measure stems partly from state Attorney General Jack Conway’s recent decision not to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that overturned parts of a 2004 state constitutional amendment barring recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Conway said that appealing the case would be “defending discrimination.”

Gov. Steve Beshear stepped in and hired a private law firm to handle the a ppeal.

The fallout from Conway’s refusal to appeal reached the Senate floor Monday. Republican Sen. Sara Beth Gregory pointedly said her bill would allow the intervention by top legislative leaders when the attorney general “is not doing his job.”

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