Federal judge rules ban on same-sex marriages in Kentucky unconstitutional

07/01/2014 12:20 PM

A ban on the ability of same-sex couples to get married in the state of Kentucky is unconstitutional, according to a ruling by Federal Judge John G. Heyburn II Tuesday.

In his decision , Heyburn said the bans on same-sex marriage in the state “violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and they are void and unenforceable.”

Heyburn, a U.S. District Court Judge in Louisville, added that the justification offered by lawyers for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear that traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state’s long-term economic stability are not reason enough for the ban.

“These arguments are not those of serious people,” Heyburn writes.

But Heyburn’s ruling includes a stay for further judgement of the higher court if the opinion is appealed. And Governor Beshear confirmed Tuesday he would appeal the ruling.

“Now that Judge Heyburn has issued his opinion on this portion of the case, we will be appealing the decision so that the matter is fully before the Sixth Circuit, where these same issues from other states are already scheduled to be decided by the Sixth Circuit,” Governor Beshear said in a statement to Pure Politics.

Heyburn previously struck down Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages from other states, a decision that divided Governor Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway.

Since the governor will appeal this decision as well, all aspects of the case will be heard in Sixth Circuit Court.


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