Kentucky's Ban On Recognition Of Same-Sex Marriages From Other States Struck Down
A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Kentucky's ban on recognizing legal same-sex marriages performed in other states is unconstitutional citing the equal protection clause in the U.S. Constitution.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II joined nine other federal and state courts in invalidating such bans.
Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs ... are vital to the fabric of society ... assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.”
Heyburn said “it is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”
Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling throwing out the Defense of Marriage Act, Heyburn struck down the portion of Kentucky’s 2004 constitutional amendment that said “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”
Heyburn did not rule that Kentucky must allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.
Excellent news! We wonder what ramifications this ruling will have for other states that currently refuse to recognize the valid same-sex marriages of couples that married in other states.
It certainly appears that momentum on this issue is only moving in one direction!