Greg Bourke, right, and Michael Deleon have filed a federal lawsuit asking for Kentucky to recognize same sex marriages. July 26, 2013 (Scott Utterback/The Courier-Journal)
(Courier-Journal) -- A federal judge Wednesday struck down Kentucky's ban on recognizing
valid same-sex marriages performed in other states, saying it violates
the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II joined nine other federal and state courts in invalidating such bans.
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."
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.
a 23-page ruling, Heyburn said Kentucky's sole justification for the
the amendment was that was it was "rationally related to the legitimate
government interest of preserving the state's institution of traditional
Heyburn noted that over the past 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has
refused to allow mere tradition to justify marriage statutes that
violate individual liberties, such as the ban on interracial marriages
that was once the law in Virginia, Kentucky and other states.
also rejected the arguments of the Family Foundation of Kentucky - that
recognizing same-sex marriages would undermine the fundamental role of
marriage in ensuring procreation.
Heyburn said there is no requirement that opposite-sex couples agree to procreate to get married.
He also said "no one has offered any evidence that recognizing same-sex marriages will harm opposite-sex marriages."
suit was filed on behalf of Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon of
Louisville, who were married in Ontario, Canada, in 2004; Jimmy Meade
and Luther Barlowe, who live in Bardstown and were lawfully married in
Davenport, Iowa, in 2009; Randell Johnson and Paul Campion, who live in
Louisville and were married in Riverside, Calif., in 2008; and Kimberly
Franklin and Tamera Boyd, who live in Cropper and were married in
Stratford, Conn., in 2010.
The complaint also named their children.
You may also like...
Arrrrrr! Pirates invade Tampa for Gasparilla
Treason? Secret Service visits candidate who says Obama should hang
Mystery House: Unsuspecting house holds a hidden secret
Abuse Arrest: Hog-hunting mom leaves kids in freezing car
Seeking Sasquatch: Bigfoot sightings abound in Colorado
Cyclist stuck in windshield: "Hi, I'm the guy you hit"
Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant
Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here