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Category Archives: Kentucky

Activist Judge Attempts to Redefine Marriage in Kentucky

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn declared Kentucky's law protecting marriage "void and unenforceable" yesterday but stayed the imposition of same-sex "marriages" pending a decision from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Kentucky-FlagStunningly, a single judge has decided that his opinion can override the votes of 75 percent of Kentuckians, who approved a constitutional amendment protecting marriage in 2004.

According to Heyburn, there is an “utter lack of logical relation between the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriages and any conceivable legitimate state interest.”  Completely ignoring the fact that the state has an interest in protecting children, the wealth of evidence that shows children do best with a married mother and father in a stable relationship, and the basic truth that marriage connects children to their biological parents, Heyburn subverted the will of the people of Kentucky with this decision.

Kentucky Governor Steve Breshear said the state will appeal.

Heyburn's assertion that the Kentucky law excludes some people from “the status and dignity of marriage” begs the question: what is marriage?  Heyburn's decision/ruling implies that same-sex unions are the same as marriages, when by their very nature, they are not.

Heyburn also wrote that marriage denies the "intangible and emotional benefits of civil marriage" to same-sex couples.  But marriage is not purely an emotional union--it is the only union that comprehensibly unites the sexes toward bringing children into the world and ensures children benefit from growing up with both a mother and a father.

Heyburn's ruling is a dangerous example of judicial activism gone wild in the United States.  Renegade judge after renegade judge has worked to throw out the votes of the American people who have voted to protect marriage.  Heyburn's blatant disregard for the will of Kentucky voters and lack of understanding of the intrinsic nature of marriage and what sets it apart from other unions is alarming.

However, there is hope in this case.  Honorably, Gov. Breshear is doing his duty by defending the law and the democratic process.  And, noting Justice Kennedy's opinion in United States v. Windsor, Heyburn also did not claim that same-sex couples have a “fundamental right” to marry.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is expected to rule on this in early August.  Until then, the redefinition of marriage is on hold in Kentucky.  Let's pray that reason, truth, and justice prevail.

The National Organization for Marriage applauds Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for defending the rule of law and Kentucky's marriage amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


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The following statement should be attributed to Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

Washington, D.C. — "We applaud Governor Steve Beshear's commitment to the rule of law and the people's definition of marriage. He is doing what every elected official, on every level of government across the country should do, defend the laws of the land. It is absurd that Kentucky's Attorney General Jack Conway is not doing what he swore to do upon taking office - defending the laws and constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the judgment of the Kentucky's citizens who voted overwhelmingly on this issue. We hope that voters hold him to account for abandoning his sworn duty."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

National Organization for Marriage Condemns the Decision by a Federal Court to Strike Down a Component of Kentucky's Laws Regulating Marriage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 12, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"Today's decision emphasizes the need for Congressional action to prevent our states' marriage laws from spiraling further into chaos. Congress needs to explicitly reinforce the sovereign right of the states to make their own determinations regarding marriage." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The leadership of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) issued criticism against a decision by a federal judge in Kentucky to strike down a component of that state's marriage laws. The judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize as marriage same-sex relationships that have been granted that status in a different state.

"Today yet another federal judge has entered the competition for lawlessness on the marriage front," said Brian Brown, NOM President. "Today's decision emphasizes the need for Congressional action to prevent our states' marriage laws from spiraling further into chaos. Congress needs to explicitly reinforce the sovereign right of the states to make their own determinations regarding marriage, and to have those determinations respected by the federal government-which would include having those determinations protected from coerced modification through dubious readings of the 14th amendment such as we have here."

Brown noted that a bill proposed by Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) called the "State Marriage Defense Act" is an example of the kind of legislation called for in order to answer difficulties like the ones presented by this case.

Dr. John Eastman, a law professor and the chairman of NOM's board of directors, gave this analysis:

"In Windsor, decided just last June, the Supreme Court placed great weight on the fact that States have primary authority for determining marriage policy. It therefore held that the federal government must respect New York's decision to alter the definition and purpose of marriage so that the institution encompasses same-sex relationships. Kentucky, as more than 30 other states have recently done, continues to further marriage policy that is tied to the unique procreative abilities of men and women. Yet this federal judge has, contrary to the strong federalism language in Windsor, determined on his own that Kentucky is not allowed to make that policy choice."

Eastman also voiced a concern noted by other critics regarding this particular case, which involves a same-sex couple married in Canada. Some observers contend that the ruling may set a dangerous precedent for other judges to require that states recognize different forms of marriage considered valid in other countries, such as 'plural' or polygamous civil marriages.

"If the decision is upheld, Kentucky will have to recognize as marriages same-sex relationships that were given marriage certificates in other nations, but there is no reason to limit the ruling to same-sex relationships," Eastman continued. "Presumably, Kentucky will also be forced to recognize as 'marriage' polygamous and other marriages that were valid in the country in which they were performed. This drives a stake through the heart of Kentucky's profound policy judgment, and through the reasoning of the Windsor decision that instructed the lower courts to respect such state policy judgments."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, or John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Same-Sex Couple Married in Canada Files Lawsuit Against State of Kentucky

The Courier Journal reports on a same-sex couple that has filed a lawsuit in Kentucky to have the state recognize their out-of-state union:

Scott Utterback/The Courier-Journal

Scott Utterback/The Courier-Journal

Two Louisville men who were married in Canada in 2004 filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging the constitutionality of Kentucky laws that don’t recognize same-sex marriages from outside the state.

The lawsuit — filed against Gov. Steve Beshear, Attorney General Jack Conway and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw — does not seek to legalize gay marriages within Kentucky but seeks a permanent injunction requiring that same-sex marriages performed outside the state be recognized here.

“It’s sad to see these people keep pushing this agenda because the state has spoken on this issue,” said [Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington] ... “If we live in a Christian nation, then we need to stand by the moral absolutes,” including, he said, that marriage is determined by God to be between one man and one woman.

Bourke made news after he was ousted as a Boy Scout leader in 2012 after announcing that he was gay. The Boy Scouts do not allow gay scout leaders but recently changed its policies to allow openly gay boys to participate.