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.
Stunningly, 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.