Federal Judge Strikes Down Kentucky’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage


Federal Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled today that Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, stating that gays are a "disadvantaged class” deserving protections similar to those received by women in equal protections cases. The Courrier-Journal reports:

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73d84b8b2970d-300wi"In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," [Heyburn wrote]…

Heyburn rejected the only justification offered by lawyers for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear — that traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state's long-term economic stability. 

"These arguments are not those of serious people," he said.

Heyburn held that the ban on gay marriage within Kentucky violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law and that there is "no conceivable legitimate purpose for it."

He held that the state's 2004 constitutional amendment and a similar statute enacted in 1998 deny gay couples lower income and estate taxes; leave from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act, family insurance coverage; and the ability to adopt children as a couple. 

"Perhaps most importantly," he added, the Kentucky law denies same-sex couples the "intangible and and emotional benefits of civil marriage."

The case in question was brought before Heyburn by two couples, Timothy Love and Lawrence Ysunza, who have been together for thirty-three years, and Maurice Blanchard and Dominique James, who have been together for ten, after Heyburn ruled in a previous decision that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. As in his previous ruling, Heyburn put a hold on his latest decision, preventing same-sex couples from being able to wed immediately. Heyburn wants the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to decide on the challenge to Kentucky’s marriage ben it is set to hear in August before his ruling would go into effect. 


  1. JackFknTwist says

    Nicely said :

    Our constitutional rights to equality cannot be out voted by religious beliefs [ nor any other form of bigotry ].

    Suck it up bible freaks, koran freaks, mormon freaks, dianetics freaks, sanskrit freaks, talmud freaks, ……and all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

  2. Turing's Ghost says

    I love this line criticizing the State’s position: “These arguments are not those of serious people.” Its almost as good as the judge in Michigan who said: “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration.”

    The 6th circuit will hear Michigan’s case in August of this year.

  3. Rick says

    Oooh more Judicial activism. Because the will of the majority of people is irrelevant in this new Liberal dictatorship we call the US of A.

  4. Rick says

    Oooh, more Judcial activism overturning the will of the people. All hail the Liberal dictatorship that is the US of A!

  5. gaiboi says

    “[…] the 2012-2013 legislative year [has] been a somewhat discouraging year for believers in true marriage. We’ve seen a few narrow losses in some close, hard-fought battles [in states] all of which were deep blue and controlled by Democrats, most with super majorities. But the “low hanging fruit” for the other side is gone.” (–Brian Brown, 27 November 2013)

    Yeah….right Brownstain…care to recant that prediction? *hair toss* Lol!

  6. MiloTock says

    @Rick — the will of the overwhelming majority of Towleroad readers is that you cease posting your troll-like (and often highly misogynistic) comments. And yet you continue to post. Why do you refuse to respect the will of the people?

  7. Rick says

    Awww milotock doesn’t like me “spilling that truth tea,” (as the queens like to say these days). Nut up and realize that overthrowing our enemies judicially will not yield social change. Simply legal change.

  8. Anon says

    @”RICK”, What on earth do you mean by “our enemies”?! You are one of our enemies! You belong to the anti-gay side. You’re not one of us…

  9. RICK says

    I’m not anti-gay. But I refuse to subscribe to the cult of effeminacy that the gay community seems to to adore as of late. Sorry if you can’t understand the difference. Not all of us can be intelligent.

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “Nut up and realize that overthrowing our enemies judicially will not yield social change. Simply legal change.”

    Well, in the words written by the great George Gershwin and sung by the great Ethel Merman,


  11. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, I guess the lyrics “who could ask for anything more” were actually written by Ira Gershwin, not George.

    My point is, Rick, that many Gay people simply want civil rights under the law (just like other minorities). We are NOT interested in bigots learning to like us.

  12. Ozu says

    Is it just me or does the guy on the right in the blue trim cap look just like Stan Laurel?

  13. anon says

    Oh, there’s a ton of laws that really do deserve this kind of scrutiny but will never get a day in court. The core problem is that it’s too easy in many states to amend state constitutions. This gives rise to populist measures that are off the wall ridiculous or nasty. Then you get the states hauled into court where they lose, but everyone is bitter about it.

  14. simon says

    I think you are right. Legal change for woman rights did not necessarily bring social change. There are still sexists like yourself.
    But who cares?

  15. REALLY says

    “Not all of us can be intelligent.

    Posted by: RICK | Jul 1, 2014 3:17:12 PM”

    Right you are Rick. You are not now, or ever will be intelligent.

  16. Chadd says

    Yet again Rick has made this post about Rick like an insecure child that just screams louder when he doesn’t get sufficient attention. I don’t think he actually believes what he says, but he knows what buttons to push to get attention.

    You could probably get enough voters to approve making it a felony to write a check at the grocery store. Doesn’t make it right. That is pure Democracy – majority rule. Thankfully, the US is a REPUBLIC where the will of the majority cannot be imposed on the minority. As the judge so clearly stated.

  17. Rich-SD says

    Rick said:
    Awww milotock doesn’t like me “spilling that truth tea,” (as the queens like to say these days). Nut up and realize that overthrowing our enemies judicially will not yield social change. Simply legal change.

    Social change will take its own course, but legal change has its own value and can catalyze social change. Example in point: the issue of miscegenation who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.