A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky’s ban on recognizing legal same-sex marriages performed in other states is unconstitutional.
This means same-sex couples married elsewhere will have their marriages recognized in Kentucky, though it doesn’t legalize marriage equality in the state. But it does send a strong message extending the nationwide conversation on marriage beyond just the liberal states. Here are some of U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II’s reasons for striking down the ban:
In 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 marriage.”
But 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.
Heyburn 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.”
"No one has offered any evidence that recognizing same-sex marriages will harm opposite-sex marriages.” Can I get this tattooed or something? Maybe let’s make custom t-shirts? Go, Kentucky!