Mongiardo says his views on gay marriage have changed since 2004; constitutional ban went 'overboard'

11/07/2014 04:30 PM

Former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo said his views have shifted on the social issue of same-sex marriage, and he now would not have co-sponsored the 2004 constitutional amendment that’s at the center of a case potentially heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mongiardo, a Democrat from Hazard who is considering a gubernatorial bid in 2015, said in an interview with Pure Politics last month that he thinks the Kentucky General Assembly, himself included, went “overboard” with the ban in 2004.

The 54-year old Mongiardo said his thoughts on the issue have changed as he has grown older.

“I guess I have matured a little bit on it,” he said.

The former lieutenant governor and 2010 Democratic primary candidate for U.S. Senate could face Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, who won the 2010 Senate primary, in the 2015 gubernatorial primary come May.

Conway refused to challenge the ruling striking down the 2004 ban on same-sex marriage in a tearful March press conference.

Gov. Steve Beshear sought outside counsel to challenge the decision in federal court and has continued to seek a U.S. Supreme Court verdict on the issue. An appeals court overturned the lower court’s decision in a 2-1 opinion Thursday.

When asked about how Conway’s decision not to appeal the federal court ruling could come into play in a primary match-up, Mongiardo said he thinks the electorate has moved on the issue.

“My sense is that the feeling on that issue has changed across the state. There’s not the animosity there once was on that issue,” Mongiardo said. “I think a lot of people who were absolutely, absolutely against gay marriage and were very religious and those of us on the outside and looked in saw people who claim to be Christian hating other people and acting very badly – and not loving their brother.

“I think that has turned a lot of people off to being so aggressive on social issues like this.”

Mongiardo, a Catholic, said his religion does not believe in same-sex marriage, but he thinks there is an issue of government overreach when it comes to a ban on same-sex marriage.

“I co-sponsored the ban on gay marriage in Kentucky. If I were there now I do not think I would have taken that position,” Mongiardo said.

“In my church I’m Catholic and we don’t believe in same-sex marriage, but I don’t think we should take the legal — the government legal ability for two people to take care of each other.”

Pure Politics will feature a profile on the Hazard Democrat and his thoughts on a possible 2015 bid for governor next week.

Interview by political reporter Kevin Wheatley.


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