Kentucky Governor Files ‘Offensive’ Appeal Brief Claiming That Gay Marriage Threatens Birth Rates

Attorneys for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear are appealing a federal judge's February ruling striking down the state's ban on recognition of gay marriages performed elsewhere, and filed a brief arguing that the ban should be maintained because gay marriage threatens birth rates, and thus economic competitiveness, in Kentucky, the Courier-Journal reports:

BeshearIn a 32-page appeal, attorney Leigh Gross Latherow says Kentucky has an interest in maintaining birth rates, which, if allowed to fall, can induce economic crises because of the reduced demand for good and services and the reduction of the work force. She cited recent dips in the economies of Germany and Japan tied to declines in their birth rates.

The appeal doesn't explain how allowing gays to marry would reduce the birth rate among heterosexual couples.

Laura Landenwich, one of the plaintiff's lawyers, called the state's argument "offensive."

"Most Kentuckians — on both sides of the issue — view marriage as a social partnership, a spiritual bond, a commitment to navigate life together," Landenwich said. "Children are often a part of that shared journey, but the relationship extends beyond that."


  1. D.R.H. says

    He’s a Dem in name only. Democrats don’t give away 40 million in state funds to help build theme parks based on absurd Bible fairytales.

  2. local_gay says

    @GREGOIRE: If he was a Republican then it would say “Republican Governor Steve Beshear” in this blog’s post. Otherwise, the Dem part gets left out. But if it’s a pro-gay statement by a Dem, it’d identify by party.

  3. says

    If these people who want to enter into same-sex marriage are truly gay, legally recognizing the union is not going to affect birth rates; it is extremely difficult for someone who only has sexual relations with people of the same sex to become impregnated. Therefore, recognizing the unions is almost certain not to negatively affect birth rates. It’s a much more likely scenario that recognizing the unions would positively affect the birth rate. Marriage is a precursor that leads to people wanting to start a family. Granted, these people aren’t likely to start a family the traditional way (e.g. through sexual intercourse), but how they start their family isn’t a concern for the government…as long as they aren’t doing it illegally (e.g. kidnapping).

  4. trees says

    If he wants to ban childless marriages, he must want also to ban heterosexual marriages between elderly people, sterile people, and people who choose not to have children. He would also have to ban vasectomies, birth control pills, condoms and abortions. Kentucky would become the only Papal State in America.

  5. alguien says

    it seems as if he’s operating under some perception in which the population of gays will somehow, magically increase if gays get legally married.

    sorry stevie boy, the most effective way for the population of gays to increase is for straight couples to continue having children.

  6. tim S says

    We do threaten the birth rates when we are allowed to get married.

    Before we were less likely to have children, now we will be contributing to overpopulation, just a bit.

  7. Pancho Lopez says

    Is he concerned that the human race is going to die out because of the gays? Obviously, we really need to pump up the population growth.

  8. simon says

    Many developed countries are facing the economic consequences of the drop of birth rate. Couples don’t want children definitely not because of the gays. One of the remedies is to allow more immigration. Whatever the reason for the drop of birth rate, the governor has the duty to make the state a more attractive and welcoming place instead of blaming a minority. Unfortunately, most prefer to move to the coasts. Who what to move to Kentucky?

  9. says

    What this REALLY boils down to–What the real elephant in the room is–is the assumption that homosexuality is a choice. That is what this man is asserting here. He is essentially asserting that if marriage equality is passed in KY, more heterosexuals, who would’ve “chosen” to be heterosexual and enter into a heterosexual marriage and had children, would instead “choose” homosexuality instead and enter into a childless same-sex marriage. That is the real deep-seated issue in the vast majority of GLBT-related equality issues. Our opponents, most of whom are brainwashed by religion, see us as deviants who “choose” to live a sinful lifestyle that is based on sexual gratification rather than believe the reality that the vast majority of us have always known we were gay, have (or are capable of having) very meaningful and long-lasting relationships with partners of the same-sex, are good parents, and are just as valuable to society as any other group of people.

  10. Kyle says

    He is assuming that if gays don’t marry other gays they will marry opposite sex people and have kids. First you can marry someone of the same sex and still have kids. Second you can have kids without marrying anyone at all. He is an idiot.

  11. Bill says

    Hopefully he is just trying to fulfill a requirement to defend the laws of his state in court and his attorneys came up with the best argument to make that case. It is not surprising that the best argument is silly – if they had passed a law that claimed that 2 + 2 = 5, the arguments justifying that would be silly as well.

    I don’t care if they make such silly arguments: what I would object to is an argument demonizing people.

  12. Chuck Mielke says

    I just checked Wiki. Yes, he’s a democrat. However, I don’t see anyone willing to give him a pass. As for me, I must observe that the Democratic Party has its share of ignorant haters. But we shouldn’t overlook the Cheney factor: perhaps he’s only trying to maintain the support of his constituency. It’s a stereotype, I know, but let us recall that we’re talking about Kentucky — not exactly famous for its progressive politicians.

  13. fanboi says

    Because if gay men can suddenly get married previously straight men will suddenly stop impregnating their wives/girlfriends/truckstophos?

  14. fanboi says

    If he is REALLY worried about birth rates going down… he should make it legal for cousins to marry – I’m sure that would be very popular in Kentucky.

  15. dcspdrcr says

    Since when did allowing gay people to marry stop their sexual reproductive organs from working?….i.e.what this fool is spouting….lower birth rate for whom? Last time we all checked a gay man can do the old fashioned way and get the vjj to have a baby with a willing female, the new (quite old now)fangled way IVF, surrogacy, etc…. And vice versa for our lesbian sisters……DUUUHHHH!! We might end up with more children than you expect.

  16. dcspdrcr says

    Grasping and last nub of hair on the camels back to remain relevant if you have nothing to say…say something stupid and ignorant sh__ against wall…maybe someone will believe me) …….and he is the Gov. I guess knowledge about anything is not criteria for election to office. The ignorant Kentucky voters put these kinds of people in high, powerful and sometimes life altering (for the populace) positions.

  17. Paul R says

    Aside from the obvious point already made that gays have no effect on the birth rate, single or married, citing Japan is silly: same-sex marriage isn’t legal there. Also, China has imposed its one-child policy since 1979, and achieved double-digit economic growth for half of the years since, and close to it for the others. So none of the arguments make a shred of sense.

  18. SFRowGuy says

    Well of course it does. Because the 10’s of millions of people being forced into heterosexual marriage will stop being forced into having children they wouldn’t have in a homosexual marriage. 10’s of millions? 100’s of millions, maybe even billions. (Does this guy think of the things that he’s saying. Do any of these anti-gay mongers? Your argument is a non-argument.)

  19. Fight Back says

    I just finished watching the excellent documentary “Paragraph 175″, which interviews gay concentration camp survivors who were arrested, interned, and tortured by Nazis. The film was made in 2000, and the last known survivor has since died.

    The Nazis used the exact same justification for persecuting homosexuals, almost the exact same language–that homosexual behavior denied the German nation of births of new babies that it was “owed”.

    This is not a mere invocation of Godwin’s law, this is pointing out that the exact same non-argument about threatening birth rates, and stunningly similar language are being used in 2014 by Beshear’s attorneys and other opponents of marriage equality.

    Wrong side of history? These are elected state officials invoking Nazi ideology in an attempt to try to prevent gays and lesbians the rights to equality under the law. And gays and lesbians are being told to be tolerant? To respect differing points of view? Beshear and Latherow should be arrested and tried for treason.

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