Federal Judge Rules that Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages from Other States

Federal Judge Rules that Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages from Other States February 12, 2014

US District Judge John G Heyburn II has ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages of residents who wed outside the state.

Judge Heyburn said that last summer’s US Supreme Court ruling that struck down DOMA led to his decision.

You may remember that I predicted this would happen when DOMA was struck. A number of people told me I was daft. I have to say that I take no pleasure in being right.

I caution those who are so quick to jump on this bandwagon to think carefully what they do. We are on the edge of a precipice here. I believe that gay marriage will be as culturally damaging as widespread divorce and abortion have been. The major difference is that gay marriage comes after divorce and abortion have already blunted our consciences and torn our social constructs to ribbons. I believe the effect of gay marriage will be geometric.

Are we at a societal tipping point? I’m too close to know for sure, but I’m inclined to think that we are, at least, approaching one.

For what it’s worth, I’m going to be very stubborn about this and stick with the two-thousand-year-old teachings of the Church. I’ve had my turn at being my own God and I have reaped a whirlwind of guilt, remorse and shame for my self-deification.

As for me and my house, I’m going to follow, not lead, when it comes to Christ and the teachings of His Church. It doesn’t matter how much Kool-Aid gets dumped on my head.

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – Kentucky must recognize the legal same-sex marriages of residents who wed outside the state, a federal judge said on Wednesday in the latest of a series of rulings that expand gay rights following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year.

Four Kentucky same-sex couples who were married out of state had challenged a state law that declared such marriages void and the accompanying rights unenforceable. They did not challenge a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville said a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions including the striking down of a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year led to his decision on Wednesday.

“Each of these small steps has led to this place and this time, where the right of same-sex spouses to the state-conferred benefits of marriage is virtually compelled,” Heyburn said in a 23-page ruling.

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38 responses to “Federal Judge Rules that Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages from Other States”

  1. So let me get this straight. DOMA is unconstitutional because defining marriage is the purview of the states, but marriage is also a federal issue because now the federal government can force a particular definition of marriage on an unwilling state. The internal logic is fabulous! Do we even have a Constitution any more?

    • Yeah, this makes states rights completely useless. As long as even one state has gay marriage, or, I suppose, polygamy, polyamory, or marrying of inanimate objects or animals, all states will be forced to recognize it.

      Sure, we have a Constitution, but now judges simply read into it whatever they would like to, much like many people do with the Bible.

    • The extent to which one state must recognize the actions of another has always been a federal issue — thus, the Full Faith and Credit Clause in Article IV Section 2 of the federal Constitution. Similarly, while defining marriage remains within the purview of the states, Amendment XIV mandates that such definitions (if any are given) by the states conform to the federal requirement of Equal Protection (see Virginia v Loving), and the courts to address any controversy regarding such conformance (per Article III).

      More problematic for the ruling, however, is that it does not appear to address how the FF&C power has been actually invoked by Congress with DOMA Section 2. That seems likely easy basis for appeal — provided there is an appellant with standing. The KY AG office still hasn’t announced whether they will appeal, awaiting the hearing on how the ruling is to be implemented.

  2. You obviously have no value for or relationship with our U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights … it’s obvious you carry your religious beliefs into the work place and as a member of your state legislature, you are clearly violating the separation of church and state. You can hide behind and attempt to draw comfort from your bigoted “religious” beliefs, and even perhaps fool yourself into thinking you’re a God-fearing person, but it’s plainly obvious you are nothing close to the concepts Jesus set down, as we know them, in the Bible. Keep up the hateful work – you’re representing christianity – oh, and your state – quite well.

    • In other words, I have an opinion that differs from yours, but you are not able to defend what you think in a rational and cogent manner. So, you turn to personal insult and name-calling.

    • Rep. Hamilton isn’t violating separation of Church and State. That is about the State interfering with the Church and their definition of what they hold true, believe, etc. She has stated well what she believe a marriage to be and why. She could add that one could come to this conclusion even if they were not Christian via Natural Law – able to deduce through self observation and biology that certain things have certain function/some acts are good and follow with how it was designed to be used.

      • I think it would be better if we not use the term “Natural Law” for anything other than as another way to say “Law of Nature”. So we might say that gravity is a natural law as we would say it is a physical law or a law of nature.

        The other way of using the term, as in a law that everyone knows instinctively, is really subject to interpretation. The most common misuse of the term is in saying that homosexuality is a violation of natural law. There is no such natural law.

        Animals perform homosexual acts. Animals are incapable of doing anything unnatural. Therefore, homosexuality is natural.

        • Natural Law is not the same as something occurring in nature. You not only can deduce the function of something, it is back up with reality and science. So, those acts are not subjective but have definite purposes and misuses.Just one further thing when comparing yourself and others to animals, you have reason which is to guide which they do not. IOW, you should be able to see, deduce through reason, that although an animal may do something in nature, it isn’t proper for a human to do – reasonable.

          • You can observe how something functions; however, if you have an object A that does function #1 well and does #2 poorly, there is no means to distinguish between whether object A’s intended function is #1 or #2 without also presuming whether or not A actually implements the intended function well — in effect, assuming the conclusion.

            Cue my usual digression on Hume and the mathematics of posets….

    • Violating separation of church and state? You must be kidding or you have no understanding of the Constitution at all. Are you a ‘freedom from religion’ atheist who quite mistakenly thinks atheism is supposed to be the de-facto state religion of the US? Since when is any politician supposed to check their moral beliefs at the legislature door? Isn’t a politician’s moral view a large part of what voters try and discern about a candidate before electing them?

  3. Personally, I feel states should recognize SS marriage from one state to another. If that forces some same gender couples to go to another state in order to marry because their home state won’t allow SS marriage, and then return home, then so be it. I do not see SS marriage as being culturally damaging. Personally I do not see it as worse or on par with divorce and abortion.

    • If anything, the Protestant culture of America was kinda of founded on divorce. It was kind of a key issue back in the day.

      • I’m not sure what American history you’re alluding to. The only time I’m aware of divorce being a “big deal” for non-Catholics was 1500s England and Henry VIII. If that’s what you’re referring to, you should know that NOT all Protestant groups are the intellectual descendants of the Church of England (most aren’t!). In fact, the early Americans of English descent were often those who had left England because they were NOT part of the CoE and were being descriminated against. Sometimes severely so. As for divoce and Protestants, until relatively recently, divorce was not acceptable among Protestants, either. That our churches have gone soft/rotten on such issues is a disgrace, but they were not “founded” on the ability to divorce. Getting into what they WERE founded on would take far too much time to go into, and potentially hijack this thread, which would not be helpful or appropriate.

  4. I never denied that the DOMA ruling wasn’t the beginning of the end. I’m surprised its happening as fast as it is. I think all of these recent actions by federal judges, and the decisions of AGs in even conservative states not to defend them, is a consensus that it’s time to quickly tear off a hanging bandage, and then move on and let the wound heal.

    I don’t expect anyone to change their religious opposition to SSM, but as a practical matter, the war to keep civil gay marriage illegal is done. The courts have utterly rejected the core arguments of the opposition, young people won’t touch the cause with a 20-foot pole, and no politician or party with any national ambitions is ever going to invest another dime of political capital in it.

    Moves like we see in Kentucky are two-fold. One, as I’ve said, is to pull off the bandaid. The other is a face-saving measure for Red State elected leadership. Governors and state reps will get to keep their honor and their votes among social conservatives. They will be able to say, truthfully “we never gave in.” The federal courts will play bad cop, and there will be same sex couples legally recognized in every state in the union by Memorial Day 2015, at the outside. I’ll feeling bold and speculative tonight despite a vicious cold, and so I’ll back that with a bottle of Glenlivet 12 or the equivalent value of about $30 to the charity of Rebecca’s choice if I’m wrong.

  5. Rebecca, I think we’ve passed the societal tipping point. That happened when Obama ran on radical cultural issues, including limiting religious freedom, in 2012 and won. That November Tuesday was the tipping point. Now it’s just a matter of playing out the cards. I don’t see how we take the culture back.

      • If I understand what you mean, I don’t think it would work. There is no true local control any longer. The Federal government dictates from above. Federalism has essentially died.

          • It does. I know I’m in a downward spiral when it comes to hope for this country and western civilization, but I got to believe the Supreme Court would over rule this. But there’s no gurantee.

    • Not getting to inflict your religious restrictions on people who are not members of your religion is not “limiting religious freedom”.

  6. The first thing it does, in it’s destruction, is redefining parenthood. The most to suffer here are the children and fathers. Rep. Hamilton, I would like to recommend a book, What We Can’t Not Know by J. Budziszewski that may help you in your battles.

      • One more thing, regarding proposed bill of the State of Oklahoma getting out of marriage. In the judge’s decision from states that have overturned what the people hold as a marriage, between man/woman, you have the tendency to reduce, and I could say confuse, what a marriage is and what a friendship is. The state has a lot of interest in marriage because of the procreative act and children coming from it. Friendships are absent of this. The one definition that comes to mind was given by Judge Walker who overturned Prop 8 in CA: “Marriage is the State recognition and approval of a couple’s choice to
        live with each other, to remain committed to one another, to form a
        household based on their own feelings about one another, and to join in
        an economic partnership and to support one another and any dependents.” If that is what is foreseen to happen, the State having to recognize what we understand as friendships, then it may be best to get out of it for the time being. Or those are just my ponderings.

        • In theory, a state getting out of the marriage business might be possible. In practice, there’s a lot of state law and regulations that would need to be untangled.

  7. This issue is so emotionally charged that everyone could benefit by more research and understanding. I have family and friends who are gay and am very sad.
    Sad for the cruel treatment of gays in the past and sad for christian treatment today… both are equally wrong.
    For many churches and people who understand marriage to be deeper than emotional bonds and a bedrock for children and society, there is no hatred and bigotry. It is narrow-minded and unenlightened to label it so… and does nothing to help is all work through our disagreements and toward greater love and understanding for each other and society.

  8. By this time it’s pretty clear which way the winds of cultural change are blowing in our society. Fundamentalist Christians have never been a majority and are on the way to becoming a despised and persecuted splinter group. Fundies have never helped their cause and are not doing so now. They like to talk about concentration camps being built to contain them but are really building the camps for themselves.

    • Which is why the only people you mention – Christians – are described with unmistakeable contempt and detestaton. You people talk about love and know about as much about it as Stevie Wonder knows about colours.

  9. This is the last blow. This sentence leaves the defenders of marriage with no place to go and nothing to do except resist at all costs. It’s Dred Scott all over again, including the vicious howls of triumph of the aggressive minority that has bent and twisted the laws to force their destructive obsession on the majority.

  10. I’ll continue to say that marriage is between a man and a woman. And I will continue to treat my gay friends with respect. It’s as simple as that.

  11. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY everyone. May you be with the one(s) you love and if that isn’t possible, keep them close in your heart.

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