July 30, 2013 Print
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Same-Sex Couple Tries to Redefine Marriage in Kentucky

by Bethany Monk

A same-sex couple filed a lawsuit challenging Kentucky’s marriage amendment defining the institution as a union between one man and one woman.

Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon got married in Canada nine years ago. On Friday, they sued to get Kentucky to recognize that union.

“It’s unfortunate that there are people out there who want to ban this state from defining marriage as it has been defined by virtually everyone since the beginning of recorded history,” said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for the Kentucky Family Foundation.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month stuck down part of the federal marriage law. Without Section 3, the government will not be able to define marriage for its own policies and law; it must accept whatever states decide about same-sex marriage.

President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. The high court decision does not affect Section 2, which says that no state is required to recognize another state’s redefinition.

Kentucky isn’t the only one facing a challenge to its marriage amendment.

A federal judge last week put an Ohio marriage law on hold after a same-sex couple sued the state. The couple got married earlier this month in Maryland. They want Ohio to recognize the union.

The ACLU has filed suits to redefine marriage in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia.

Cothran, a lead lobbyist for the 2004 Kentucky Marriage Protection Amendment, said groups opposed to the measure ought to use the process for amending the Constitution.

“But instead of going through the regular process to change the law, they want to go out and find judges who will invent rights that support their political agenda,” he explained. “They now want the courts to find a right to same-sex marriage that’s been somehow hidden in the Constitution for almost 250 years and that nobody noticed before. We can imagine what the Founders would have said about this, and it isn’t pretty.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the complaint in Bourke v. Breshear. 

Read “Federal Judge Halts Ohio Marriage Law.”

Read “Groups Challenge Marriage Amendments in 4 States.”



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