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Kentucky Hub



04/19/2007


Kentucky Attorney General Won't Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban; Gov. Will Appeal with Outside Counsel

ConwayKentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (pictured) says he won't defend the state's gay marriage ban in an appeal of a federal court ruling ordering the state to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere, the Courier-Journal reports:

“Judge Heyburn got it right,” he said at his Frankfort office.

By appealing, he said, he would be defending discrimination “and that I will not do.”

Conway said he had prayed on the decision and felt he is doing what is right. He said that he was sworn to defend both the constitutions of Kentucky and the United States.

“It’s about placing people over politics,” he said.

He began choking up at the end of the statement before leaving without taking questions.

The AP reports that Governor Steve Beshear will appeal the fuling with outside counsel, not the attorney general.

Late last week, Heyburn put his order that the state recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere on hold for three weeks to give the state enough time to comply. The governor had asked for 90 days.


Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent Comes Out: 'I am Queer'

Trent

Djuan Trent, Miss Kentucky 2010, came out of the closet this week after a federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

Watch a WKYT interview with Trent, AFTER THE JUMP...

Wrote Trent in a blog post:

For months, I have been contemplating how I would write this post, how I would position it, when would be the right time to post it. Should I make it funny? Should I make it mysterious? Should I make it serious? Should I pick a special date to do it? Should I build some kind of anticipation around it? Hmmm...ain't nobody got time for that. I have written and re-written and deleted and restarted this post more times than I care to share, and after all of that I have finally realized: "There ain't nothin' to it, but to do it." So, here we go folks...

I am queer.

2_trentShe added:

I could write about what it was like to come out to my mom for the third and final time at the age of 26 (the first time was when I was in the 4th grade and the second time was in college). I could write about the years I spent praying to a God whom I wanted so badly to serve with all of my heart, but couldn't understand why this God made me "wrong". I could write about all the times that people have asked me if I have a boyfriend and I've purposely chosen to just say "no" with no further explanation. I could write about all the reasons I have been told I shouldn't be gay (that's an interesting list). I could write about all the times I talked about how gross it was when a girl had a crush on me, even though I may have secretly liked her too. I could write about how scared I have felt that I would have to watch friends and family members walk out of my life if I ever decided to come out. I could write about how disappointed I have been in myself for being an open supporter by day, and living it up in the safety of the closet by  night.  I could write books about all of those things...but what has really fueled my passion in writing today, has been this...

Last week, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky's prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law by treating queer folks "differently in a way that demeans them." You can imagine the conversation that this ruling has sparked amongst Kentuckians- those who support as well as those who oppose. I have listened to people talk about "the abomination of our nation" and "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." I am not surprised that some people would react this way...I mean, if people didn't react that way, then there would be no need for a movement, no need to fight for OUR rights (ooh, "our"...that felt good). This is not to say that I approve of the commentary, it's just to say that I am not surprised. But what has prompted my writing today has been my questioning people's constant assumption that a) I am hetero and b) I concur with their views and opinion.

Read her full post here.

And watch a WKYT interview with Trent, AFTER THE JUMP...

WKYT adds:

Trent graduated from Berea College in 2009. In 2010, she was crowned Miss Kentucky and traveled the state as a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's "Kentucky Proud" initiative. In the 2011 Miss America pageant, Trent went on to finish in the top 15.

Continue reading "Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent Comes Out: 'I am Queer'" »


Federal Judge Puts Three Week Hold on Kentucky Gay Marriage Recognition Ruling: VIDEO

Clerk_kentucky

A federal judge in Kentucky has put his order that the state recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere on hold for three weeks, NBC News reports:

KentuckyThe state had asked for a 90-day stay of the order, but Judge John G. Heyburn II is only putting it on hold until March 20, saying that will give the state enough time to comply.

Heyburn's order means that gay couples who were legally married elsewhere but live in Kentucky will be able change their names on state documents and obtain other benefits of married couples.

A separate lawsuit over whether Kentucky can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is before the same judge.

There remains a lot of confusion over the new law:

A local county clerk says she wants to follow the law and the judge's ruling but she isn't sure how. The Calloway County Clerk said the main issue is with property transfer taxes. 

Husband and wife are exempt. The clerk thinks married same sex couples are but she's not sure how to file the paperwork.  She's waiting on the state to tell her what to do and how to do it.

She isn't sure what happens if a same sex couple who was married elsewhere gets in line and wants to be recognized as such. The woman who usually has the answers admits she's stumped.

"We have no order, we have no for sure what to do and how to do it," Calloway County Clerk Antonia Faulkner said.

The state always provides clear instructions but that hasn't been the case with same sex couples.


Out-of-State Gay Marriages Now Recognized in Kentucky

Kentucky has now received the final order from a federal judge that out-of-state gay marriages be recognized in the state, the Courier Journal reports:

KentuckyU.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn today made final a ruling issued earlier this month in which he found that Kentucky’s marriage amendment and statutes violate the right to equal protection under the law.

“Those laws ... are void and unenforceable,” he said in a one page order.

Earlier today, Attorney General Jack Conway’s office asked Heyburn to stay enforcement of his ruling, but Heyburn did not address that motion and for now his ruling goes into effect.

Attorney Dan Canon, a lawyer for the four gay and lesbian couples who won the case, said: “We are cautiously optimistic. The order has been granted without qualification and without a stay.”

Buzzfeed adds:

Additionally, Heyburn on Thursday granted a request to allow additional couples seeking full marriage rights — as opposed to recognition of marriages conducted elsewhere — to intervene in the case.


Kentucky Awaits Judge's Final Order on Recognition of Gay Marriage as Attorney General Asks for Delay

KentuckyA judge is expected to issue a final order today in a case he ruled on in mid-February striking down a portion of Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage. In that ruling U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn ordered the state to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere. The judge did not say that Kentucky must allow same-sex marriages to be performed in the state.

The Herald-Leader reported this morning:

Heyburn told lawyers that his final order will not include a stay postponing it from taking effect. "There could be some confusion" among Kentuckians who quickly seek legal benefits stemming from their same-sex marriages, such as joint tax-filing status, if the state appeals 30 days later and delays the implementation of the order or throws its future into question, Heyburn cautioned.

Kentucky's attorney general has asked the judge to delay his order by 90 days in a request filed this morning, the AP reports:

The two-page filing Thursday morning says the delay is sought to give the attorney general time to decide whether to appeal the Feb. 12 ruling and would give the state an opportunity to prepare to implement the order.

A tweet from the AP late this morning suggested that the judge's final order had been issued, but legal media sources suggest that the AP may have jumped the gun on that one.

UPDATE: The AP has issued a correction.


Freedom to Marry Launching $1 million Campaign to Build Southern Support for Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.11.42 AM

At a press conference on Monday, Freedom to Marry is expected to announce a new $1 million television ad campaign in Southern states in the hopes of swaying public opinion and the judges who will decide the fate of state bans on gay unions. As it stands, there are about two dozen lawsuits challenging bans on gay marriage that are pending before state and federal courts in Southern states. The Washington Post reports:

“Freedom to Marry’s national strategy has always been to build a critical mass of states and support to create the climate for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution. We don’t have to win within every state, but we have to win enough states,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.13.09 AMAtlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will join the group at its Monday press conference. The group will also try to tie same-sex marriage to the civil rights movement, by featuring Rep. John Lewis [right], the longtime Georgia Democrat who ran the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in a testimonial.

“I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue. You cannot have rights for one segment of the population and one group of people and not for everybody,” Lewis says in the video.

Watch Lewis' video for the new campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

Co-chairs of the new initiative will include Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), as well as Mark McKinnon, a former senior adviser to George W. Bush and Lance Bass, the ‘N Sync singer.

Continue reading "Freedom to Marry Launching $1 million Campaign to Build Southern Support for Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


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