Category Archives: Kentucky

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Says Pope Francis Told Her to 'Stay Strong'

As reported by AP, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis says that she had a private meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to the United States. Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex "marriage" licenses because of her religious beliefs, says that Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and urged her to “stay strong.” A New York Times article, reported that the exchange was done via an arranged, private meeting, which a Vatican spokesperson has now confirmed.

The AP story via US News is as follows:


Image via ABC News/Getty Images

A Kentucky clerk who went to jail for defying a federal court's orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn't deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome that he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis on Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

"It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to meet me or know me," Davis said in an interview with ABC.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Staver would not say who initiated the meeting with the pope or how it came to be, though he did say that Vatican officials had inquired about Davis' situation while she was in jail. He declined to name them.

"He told me before he left, he said 'stay strong.' That was a great encouragement," Davis said of the pope during the ABC interview. "Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we're doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything."

She didn't say in the interview whether she had a private audience with the pope or she was part of larger crowd.

Davis was in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, where the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, presented her with an award for defying the federal judge. While in Washington, the longtime Democrat said she was switching to the Republican party because she felt abandoned by Democrats in her fight against same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis did not focus on the divisive debate over same-sex marriage during his visit last week. As he left the country, he told reporters who inquired that he did not know Davis' case in detail, but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.

"It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right," Francis said.

"When the Supreme Court Oversteps Its Bounds, Citizens Are Right to Resist"

NOM’s chairman, John Eastman, expounds on the arguments surrounding the Kim Davis debacle, and how, “when the Supreme Court oversteps its bounds, citizens are right to resist”:



The double standard on display is palpable. I don’t recall Keegen or any of the other self-righteous, newfound devotees of the rule of law calling for the resignation of Kentucky’s attorney general when he refused to defend his state’s marriage law — or any of the other state attorneys general who did the same, from California’s Jerry Brown to Pennsylvania’s Kathleen Kane, and several others, including perhaps most notoriously Oregon’s Ellen Rosenblum, who was caught actively colluding with plaintiffs to ensure judicial invalidation of the Oregon marriage law she disliked.

“But Davis was refusing to comply with a decision of the Supreme Court,” it will be argued. So, too, did all those illustrious attorneys general. All of them refused to do their duty and defend their state’s man-woman marriage laws, even though the binding precedent of the Supreme Court at that time, a 1972 case called Baker v. Nelson, was that such laws were constitutionally valid.

Ms. Davis’s position has also been mischaracterized as asserting that because the Supreme Court’s decision is contrary to God’s authority, she cannot be compelled to comply with it and therefore can prevent same-sex couples from getting married in her county. Her position — so described — has been belittled by simpletons across the political spectrum as nothing more than the misguided stance of a crazy evangelical clinging to her Bible. But that is not her legal argument at all (however much merit it might have as a reaction to an illegitimate decision by the Supreme Court). Her actual argument is much more restrained.

Kentucky has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which expressly prevents the government from imposing a substantial burden on someone’s religious beliefs unless the government’s mandate is narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest. Because this lawsuit is pending in federal court, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which contains the same protection, is also applicable. Ms. Davis’s lawyers have simply argued that these federal and state laws require that her religious objection to issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses over her own name be accommodated.

. . .

Abraham Lincoln famously said, in his first inaugural address, that although judicial decisions are binding on the specific parties to a case, “the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”

In short, Ms. Davis was much more faithful to her oath of office, and to the Constitution she vowed to support, than the federal judge who jailed her for contempt, the attorney general of the state who refused to defend Kentucky’s laws, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, who usurped the authority of the states and the more than 50 million voters who had recently reaffirmed the natural definition of marriage, in order to impose his own more “enlightened” views on the nation. One can only hope that Ms. Davis’s simple but determined act of civil disobedience will yet ignite the kind of reaction in the American people that is necessary to oppose such lawlessness, or at the very least bring forth a national leader who will take up the argument against judicial supremacy in truly Lincolnian fashion.

Visit National Review for the full article.

Why Kim Davis Is Such A Threat To Liberals

Rachel Lu at The Federalist brilliantly takes to task the cartoonish and misleading nature of the press coverage of the Kim Davis situation by the liberal media:

Image via USA Today/Ty Wright/Getty Images

Image via USA TODAY/Ty Wright/Getty Images

The incarceration and subsequent release of Kim Davis has been a sensation in the liberal press. Virtually every liberal outlet participated in the feeding frenzy.

This is easy to understand. If we don’t slam the lid on this religious-freedom business, Christians might find some loophole they can exploit to go on practicing their religion outside of church. Once you open the door to “conscience objections,” religious people start coming out of the woodwork.

Without some strenuous efforts at media spin, these figures might easily win public approval. Most Americans, after all, say they support religious freedom. Most likely they won’t warm to the idea that Christians should be bludgeoned into submission when a minor legal accommodation could enable them to adhere to their religious beliefs with minimal inconvenience to anyone.

For a left-wing pundit, however, accommodation isn’t the name of this game. What fun is their Supreme Court victory if they don’t get to stick it to the anti-marriage-equality bigots? For the sake of the liberal morality narrative, Davis has to go down. To sell that to the public, she must be dismissed as a right-wing crank.

. . .

Conservatives know that the government is not God. Left-wing pundits have made much of Davis’ declaration that she is following God’s will. In their minds, this is crazy-talk, akin to listening to Little Green Men. Quite a few have tried to make this into the Right’s Kermit Gosnell moment, with Mark Joseph Stern going so far as to declare that Davis is “the monster conservatives created” who will undermine voters’ enthusiasm for religious freedom.

. . .

When Davis was elected, she had no problem doing her job. Post-Obergefell, she is now expected to do something she considers to be morally wrong. No court or politician actually has the authority to contravene the natural order, making wrong actions right. That is her point, and it is perfectly fair, although we all understand how liberal pundits occasionally get confused about the difference between “government” and “God.”

The law of the land is not just a rule book. It’s more accurate to understand it as an organic tradition, which already has many precedents for exactly the kind of problem that arises here: dealing with good-faith conflicts between legal norms and sincere moral or religious beliefs. So, in a sense, it is the law itself that gives us good reasons to look for ways to accommodate people like Davis, whose free exercise of religion is burdened by revisions to current laws.

Liberals, we get that you aren’t big fans of tradition. But maybe you could try to remind yourselves now and then that we aren’t reinventing the wheel every time interests conflict? Many people think they are being principled when they suggest that Davis should quit her job if she feels unable to discharge her duties. But that’s not how these sorts of cases have been handled in the past. Both the Federal Civil Rights Act and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (which Kentucky has passed) provide a legal framework for seeking accommodations for employees who are unable to execute specific duties for reasons of conscience.

It turns out, then, that our legal tradition gives us good reason to seek an accommodation for Davis, and, happily, such a fix could easily be provided along the lines of North Carolina’s already-existing model.

Kim Davis Stands Strong in the Face of an Unjust Law

The Kim Davis debacle presents the American public with something oddly reminiscent of events past. Pundits on both sides of the same-sex "marriage" debate have cited "the wrong side of history" as a reason to stop fighting for the truth about marriage. When put to the test of actual history, however, the argument holds no water. The Town Hall explains:

Image via New York Times/Ty Wright/Getty Images

Image via New York Times/Ty Wright/Getty Images

[One of] the main arguments from gay marriage proponents and conservatives who have given up the fight [is this:] The rule of law must be respected, and therefore everyone, from the clerk to the courts, must comply.

The rebuttal to this argument lies with Martin Luther King Jr., who sat in a jail cell for refusing to comply with Jim Crow: “An unjust law is no law at all.”

What defines an unjust law? One in which those who impose it do not comply with it. I would further add that any law which violates natural law or resists science or market systems falls into the same desiccated category. By the way, everyone seems hell-bent on forgetting that this national imposition of homosexual marriage did not occur from elected officials or democratic consensus, but the arbitrary turn of phrases from five unelected, unaccountable judges. Once again, former Arkansas Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had it right: “The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.”

The court which justified “separate but equal” would overturn itself fifty-six years later. Roe v. Wade is facing increasing resistance from science and technology, as well as moral and legal suasion, and has not yet crossed the fifty-year mark. The Obergefell decision is barely two months old, yet across the country Americans are not complying, including Kim Davis. How amazing and compelling that her act of nullification occurs in Kentucky, where Founding Father Thomas Jefferson directed his Resolutions against federal tyranny three hundred years ago.


Kim Davis, like civil rights activist Rosa Parks, refuses to comply with an unjust court ruling based on a misunderstanding of sexuality and marriage.

Join Liberty Rally for Kim Davis, Tuesday Sept. 8

Please join this special Liberty Rally for Kim Davis!

With Special Guests:
Governor Mike Huckabee
Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver
Brian Brown

Tuesday, September 8, 3:00 PM ET

If you cannot attend in person, please spread the word via social media using the hashtag #IMWITHKIM, or email the attached flyer. We all need to stand strong for Kim Davis now!

Download the Flyer



Brian S Brown


Sign The Kim Davis Petition

Kentucky Clerk Continues to Fight for Her Right to Refuse to Issue Marriage Licenses

Kim Davis, a Rowan County Clerk, has been granted a temporary stay on account of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Until the case is resolved, Davis is not compelled by law to wed same-sex couples. If she loses her case against the state though, Davis could face fines and possibly jail for contempt of court. Kate Scanlon of The Daily Signal, explains Davis’ objection:

ThinkstockPhotos-451417063In an interview with The Daily Signal, Davis’ lawyer, Roger Gannam, senior litigation counsel at Liberty Counsel, an organization that provides free legal assistance in religious liberty cases, said that Bunning’s temporary stay is a “minor reprieve” for his client.

Gannam said that Rowan County’s marriage licenses are issued “under her name and her authority, so that is her religious objection.”

Gannam argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling requires only that states treat same-sex marriage as they do traditional marriage. Under Kentucky law, marriage licenses issued in any county are valid statewide. Therefore, there are over a hundred offices where the plaintiffs could obtain a marriage license.

“It’s certainly not the case that the plaintiffs are unable to get married.”

Gannam said that Davis’s religious beliefs should be accommodated.

. . .

Roger Severino, the director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, said, “When North Carolina faced a similar problem with its clerks, it passed a law allowing civil servants with religious objections to recuse themselves from all marriage licensing functions while at the same time ensuring that every qualified couple would still receive a timely marriage license.”

“It was a win-win and shows that the conscience rights of civil servants can and should be respected even after the Supreme Court’s sweeping redefinition of marriage,” Severino said.

As the States move forward from the Obergefell decision, judges and legislators need to treat everyone with equality. We must uphold the First Amendment and allow those issuing marriage license to recuse themselves when they feel they could personally breach their deeply held religious beliefs.

For original article, please visit The Daily Signal.

Kentucky Clerks Object to Same-sex Marriage Ruling

A group of court clerks in Kentucky have halted issuing all marriage licenses, following the Supreme Court 5-4 ruling that is forcing all states to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

ThinkstockPhotos-86527346In order to not be considered “discriminatory,” several clerks in Kentucky have simply stopped issuing any marriage licenses. As Casey County Clerk Casey Davis said, “my religious convictions will not allow me to in good conscience issue same-sex marriage licenses, and I don't want to be discriminatory toward them, or anyone else, so I choose not issue a marriage license, period."

Naturally, resistance to the imposition of same-sex marriage is not to be tolerated by same-sex marriage proponents:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky said its lawyers would be willing to represent same-sex couples who are refused a marriage license in Kentucky.

"It's our contention that government officials' personal objections are insufficient to justify refusing to do what they have been elected by the people to do, in terms of issuing these marriage licenses," said Bill Sharp, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Kentucky. Sharp declined to say whether any couples have called the ACLU to say they have been denied a license.

Davis, the Casey County clerk, noted that state law allows for any resident over age 18 to seek a marriage license in any county of Kentucky.

"So I don't see that I have to be the one that issues it," Davis said.

Even though the clerks are merely invoking their religious liberties, same-sex marriage proponents are not allowing this quiet rebellion to go unchallenged. As AOL reported:

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, a gay-rights advocacy organization, said the clerks could face lawsuits over their refusal to issue marriage licenses.

"If these county clerks don't abide by the law of the land ... they will be sued and they will waste taxpayer time and dollars on a frivolous and self-righteous pursuit that ultimately will be fruitless," Hartman said.

Hartman said his group would refer callers who can't get a marriage license to the ACLU of Kentucky.

These Kentucky clerks are absolute heroes. All American citizens are encouraged to stand up for marriage, especially through actions such as these. While the opposing side may well attempt to invoke violent attacks against us, those who support marriage as the union between one man and one woman have the benefit of truth on their side.

The road is certainly not easy, but the fight to protect marriage is without a doubt, a fight worth fighting.

Thank you to all who continue to stand strong in the face of adversity and continue to proclaim the truth: marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and ONLY one man and one woman.

National Organization for Marriage Praises 6th Circuit Ruling On Marriage; Urges US Supreme Court to Follow Suit

Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)

"We have been awaiting this decision for some time and welcome it not only as a tremendous victory, but as a common sense recognition that it is not for the federal courts to substitute their judgment about whether same-sex 'marriage' is a good idea or not, but to leave it to the people to make the decision about this fundamental institution." — Brian Brown, NOM president —


Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today praised a ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding marriage amendments in four states that define marriage solely as the union of one man and one woman. The ruling is a major victory for supporters of traditional marriage, and NOM called on the US Supreme Court to take the case when it is appealed and follow the direction of the 6th Circuit.

"We have been awaiting this decision for some time and welcome it not only as a tremendous victory, but as a common sense recognition that it is not for the federal courts to substitute their judgment about whether same-sex 'marriage' is a good idea or not, but to leave it to the people to make the decision about this fundamental institution," said Brian Brown, president of NOM.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Jeffrey Sutton, argues forcefully that courts should leave a decision about changing "such a fundamental social institution" as marriage to the American people and the democratic process. They said, "Process and structure matter greatly in American government. Indeed, they may be the most reliable, liberty assuring guarantees of our system of government, requiring us to take seriously the route the United States Constitution contemplates for making such a fundamental change to such a fundamental social institution." The ruling leaves intact marriage amendments in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

NOM urged the US Supreme Court to take this case at the earliest opportunity. "The justices of the Supreme Court were derelict in their duty when they refused to review the marriage cases previously before them," Brown said. "They now have no excuse. We call on the Supreme Court to stand for the proposition that men and women of good will across this land have the right under their constitution to preserve marriage in the law as it has always existed in reality, the union of one man and one woman."

While praising the outcome of the case, Brown sharply disagreed with sentiments in the opinion suggesting that momentum for same-sex marriage shows no sign of slowing.

"The Sixth Circuit was certainly correct to frame the question before them as 'who decides?' and we wholeheartedly agree that the American people should decide this issue," Brown said. "But the majority is wrong to suggest that voters have changed their minds. In fact, in the vast majority of states that now have redefined marriage, it's been judges and not voters who have done this. The movement to redefine marriage does not benefit from having momentum, it benefits from the exercise of raw political power by federal and state judges and politicians bent of imposing their politically-correct view of the world on the American people."

NOM pointed to several recent developments to show that support for same-sex marriage is waning.

"Just look at what's happened in just the last few days," Brown said. "In Ohio, advocates of gay 'marriage' have pulled a ballot petition because of the fear they will lose. In North Carolina, a poll last week showed that support for traditional marriage stood at 72%, an eleven point increase over the 61% of voters who passed their marriage amendment. Marriage just played a central factor in the defeat of both US Senators Kay Hagan (NC) and Mark Pryor (AR), not to mention numerous other candidates, including several Republicans, who favor redefining marriage. And an NBC election-day survey found that support for redefining marriage had plateaued while opposition had increased by two points. The reality is that same-sex 'marriage' is entirely a creation of the elite in boardrooms and courtrooms and not something that is supported by the American people."


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).

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

Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


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."


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 —


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."


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.