KY Couple Challenge Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
LOUISVILLE, KY - A Louisville couple has filed a challenge to Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages and has asked a federal judge to require the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries.
Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon filed suit Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Louisville.
The men are seeking an injunction to stop state and local officials from enforcing the ban written into the Kentucky constitution in 2004. The suit is the first such challenge in Kentucky since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law blocking married same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual spouses.
The Family Foundation of Kentucky, who led support for the 20014 amendment, said the lawsuit may be evidence that opponents of traditional marriage don't have the public support they claim they have.
"If opponents had the kind of support they say they have, they could get a bill passed in the State Legislature and put it on the ballot. That's what we did," said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with The Family Foundation. Cothran said groups opposed to the measure should use the process for amending the State 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. 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," Cothran said.
Same-sex couples in New Mexico and Arkansas have also filed legal challenges to state laws in recent weeks.