McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Z_CNHI News Service

February 12, 2014

Judge: Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A federal judge says Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, even though he stopped short of forcing the state to allow the unions within its own borders.

Ruling in a case brought by four gay and lesbian couples, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II struck down a 1998 Kentucky law and part of a 2004 amendment to the state Constitution that defines marriage as a union between "one man and one woman." He cited the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year that overturned part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in ruling that Kentucky violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In a memo accompanying his order, Heyburn wrote, “recognizing same-sex marriage clashes with many accepted norms in Kentucky." He acknowledged that many Kentuckians will be “confused – even angry” about his decision. But, he added, “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.”

The 23-page opinion did not say that Kentucky must permit same-sex marriage - only that it must recognize those performed elsewhere.

Seventeen states currently allow same-sex marriage. Officials in Nevada said this week they will no longer defend their state's ban on same-sex marriage in federal court. Several others recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships or same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Reaction to the judge's ruling in Kentucky was mixed, though some of it was pitched.

State Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, took to the state House floor to say Kentucky should appeal the ruling to uphold its Constitution and the will of its people. He said the ruling “breaks my heart.”

Most of the Republicans in the House and many in the gallery gave Lee a loud ovation.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
NDN Video
Tsarnaev Friend Is Convicted In First Boston Marathon Trial Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.