Conway and Beshear's split on appeal decision causes strong emotions

03/04/2014 05:32 PM

Other Kentuckians appeared just as divided as the attorney general and governor were on the handling of whether to appeal a federal judge’s ruling overturning Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage.

State Auditor Adam Edelen, who formerly worked as Gov. Steve Beshear’s chief of staff, said Tuesday he wasn’t sure of the reasoning behind Beshear’s decision to appeal U.S. District Judge John Heyburn’s ruling last week.

“I think he’s concerned about what the new system would look like and its just one I disagree with,” Edelen said. “I think the better approach was to let this go. He has chosen to go a different direction, he is the governor and that is his prerogative but I think that is unfortunate.”

As for Conway, Edelen said he believed Conway made the right call.

State Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, shared the same disappointment and said he believes Beshear should have done things differently.

“I think what we will find is that Judge Heyburn’s decision will be upheld in the 6th circuit and I think ultimately it will be upheld by the Supreme Court,” Thomas said.

At the national level, Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth also applauded Conway’s decision.

“Today, Attorney General Conway made a courageous decision to stand up for equality in Kentucky and against a discriminatory law. He gave this case the thorough analysis it required, and his conclusion will place him and our Commonwealth on the right side of history,” Yarmuth said in a statement.

On the other end of the spectrum, Martin Cothran of the Family Foundation of Kentucky said he believed Conway was not upholding his constitutional responsibilities by deciding against legal action in the case.

“We think the attorney general has got it wrong on marriage, he has got it wrong on the constitution, and we don’t need an attorney general who raises a white flag after the very first shot is fired in the battle for the rights of Kentucky voters,” Cothran told reporters after the Conway press conference.

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