Steve Beshear Hub




Kentucky Governor Offers Ridiculous Argument To SCOTUS On Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear argued in a brief filed last week before the U.S. Supreme Court that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is not discriminatory because both gay and straight people are banned from marrying people of the same gender, reports the Courier-Journal.

6a00d8341c730253ef017c3806bbd9970b-200wiThe governor’s argument mirrors that offered by the state of Virginia nearly fifty years ago when it defended laws barring interracial marriage arguing they weren't discriminatory because whites were barred from marrying blacks just as blacks were barred from marrying whites.

In 1967, the Supreme Court rejected that argument in the historic case of Loving v. Virginia, in which a white man and a black woman were charged with a crime for marrying.

According to Dan Canon, a lawyer for six gay couples challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban in a case to be argued at the Supreme Court on April 28, Beshear's argument is "especially absurd" as applied to same-sex marriage:

"Kentucky is in essence saying that our clients are precluded from marriage entirely, unless they change their sexual orientation (or simply marry someone to whom they are not attracted). It's akin to passing a law banning all Catholic churches within city limits, and then saying it's not discriminatory because you can still go to a Baptist church.”

Arguing that Beshear’s defense of marriage inequality “has really hit a new low,” Sam Marcosson, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law, added:

"I wonder what Governor Beshear and his lawyers would say if the shoe was on the other foot, and if the only option for marriage was of the same-sex variety. Whatever his reasons, the governor has set Kentucky on a course of fighting to preserve invidious discrimination, and he has waged that fight in a deeply embarrassing way. The taint to his legacy will be difficult for history to ignore."

Although Beshear has refused to comment, Mat Staver of listed hate group Liberty Counsel said that same-sex couples are not "similarly situated" to opposite-sex couples and therefore are not entitled to equal protection under the law.

Watch American Foundation for Equal Rights lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies discuss how Loving v. Virginia sets an important precedence for marriage equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

In 2013, Beshear vetoed a bill which would allow religious individuals to claim an exemption from any law or policy that prohibits discrimination.

Continue reading "Kentucky Governor Offers Ridiculous Argument To SCOTUS On Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


Kentucky Gay Marriage Plaintiff Timothy Love Discusses Heyburn Ruling: VIDEO

Timothy love

In a July 3rd ruling, Judge John G. Heyburn struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage.  

The news came with the announcement last week that Highland Baptist Church in Kentucky plans to marry David Bannister and Steven Carr in May 2015.

Although Heyburn ruled that "long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," he stayed the ruling until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky and three other states, including the June 25 striking down of Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in Utah which ruled broadly in favor of marriage equality.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has hired an out-of-state law firm to handle the appeal after Attorney General Jack Conway declined to appeal the ruling.  According to USA Today, Beshear's arguments are "not those of serious people."

Beshear's lawyers will make their arguments to reverse Heyburn's ruling on August 6.

Read Ari Ezra Waldman’s review of Heyburn’s ruling and watch lead plaintiff Timothy Love discuss the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kentucky Gay Marriage Plaintiff Timothy Love Discusses Heyburn Ruling: VIDEO" »


Kentucky Baptist Church To Perform Same-Sex Marriage Next Year - VIDEO

Highland baptist church kentucky

In a break with most of the church’s denominations, Highland Baptist Church in Kentucky announced it will marry couple David Bannister and Steven Carr next May.

Highland, which will become the third Baptist church in the area to perform same-sex weddings, is considered to be at the more liberal end of the congregation’s spectrum. In 2012, Highland ordained openly gay Minister Maurice Blanchard.

The news comes following a wave of recent pro-equality judicial decisions, including the June 25 decision in Indiana that struck down that state's marriage ban, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in Utah which ruled broadly in favor of marriage equality, and a July 1 decision that found Kentucky has no constitutional right to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

Although U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled in the Kentucky decision that "long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," he stayed the ruling until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky and three other states, according to The Courier-Journal.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has hired a law firm to handle the appeal after Attorney General Jack Conway declined to appeal the ruling. 

Speaking to The Courier Journal, Pastor Joe Phelps said that the decision to perform the marriage has upset some members of the congregation, who have nonetheless taken the decision to stay with the church.

Sam Marcosson, a law professor at the University of Louisville, said:

"What Highland is really doing is what churches do on important issues. They're taking a stand in order to influence their community and move their community in a certain direction."

Beshear's lawyers will make their arguments to reverse Heyburn's ruling on August 6.

Watch a report on Heyburn's decision to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage in Kentucky, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kentucky Baptist Church To Perform Same-Sex Marriage Next Year - VIDEO" »


Emotional Kentucky AG Jack Conway Chokes Up Announcing He Won't Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

Jack_conway

Earlier today, Towleroad reported that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced that he won't defend the state's gay marriage ban in an appeal of a federal court ruling handed down late last week. Governor Steve Beshear announced that he would hire outside counsel to appeal the ruling, which recognizes gay marriages performed out of state.

Conway became so emotional and choked up during the announcement he had to pause to collect himself.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Emotional Kentucky AG Jack Conway Chokes Up Announcing He Won't Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


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.


Kentucky Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Protected Right to Discriminate Against Gays Based on Religious Beliefs

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has vetoed House Bill 279 , by which a "religious individual could claim an exemption from any law or policy that prohibits discrimination" according to the ACLU, "leaving racial minorities, women, LGBT people and others without adequate protections."

BeshearFrom the Governor's website:

“Religious freedom is a cornerstone of this great nation, and a right enshrined in both the United States Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution,” said Gov. Beshear.  “I value and cherish our rights to religious freedom and I appreciate the good intentions of House Bill 279 and the members of the General Assembly who supported this bill to protect our constitutional rights to practice our religion.  However, I have significant concerns that this bill will cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care, and individuals’ civil rights. As written, the bill will undoubtedly lead to costly litigation.  I have heard from many organizations and government entities that share those same concerns. Therefore, after giving this measure thoughtful analysis and consideration, today I vetoed the bill.”

HB279, sent to the Governor on March 11, would allow an individual to disregard any state or local law that places a substantial burden on his or her sincerely held religious belief.  As written, the government would have to show by “clear and convincing evidence” that the state has a compelling interest in requiring the person to follow the established law, and that there is no less restrictive means to accomplish the government’s objective.

The ACLU earlier this month had expressed concern that the bill might be used to undermine existing LGBT Fairness protections for individuals covered by local statutes in Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Vicco, Kentucky.


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