Kentucky must honor out-of-state same-sex marriages -judge

A box of cupcakes are seen topped with icons of same-sex couples at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. Credit: Reuters
A box of cupcakes are seen topped with icons of same-sex couples at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. Credit: 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 string of rulings that expand gay rights following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year.

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.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states plus the District of Columbia but not in the remaining states, and the debate over gay marriage is playing out in a series of court challenges around the United States.

Four Kentucky same-sex couples married out of state had challenged a state law that declared such marriages void and the attendant rights unenforceable. The couples, who were legally wed in Iowa, California, Connecticut and Canada, did not challenge a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The Kentucky ruling came on the same day gay couples in Missouri challenged that state’s ban on recognizing their marriages from other states.

Heyburn ruled that the law the couples challenged violated their constitutional right to equal protection. The judge found that Kentucky’s laws treated gay and lesbian persons differently, in a way that demeans them.

Kentucky had argued that its public policies were rationally related to a legitimate government interest in preserving traditional marriage.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, said Congress should step in and reinforce that states have the right to make their own determination regarding marriage.

“Today’s decision emphasizes the need for Congressional action to prevent our states’ marriage laws from spiraling further into chaos,” Brown said in a statement.

Michael Aldridge, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, urged the state to let the ruling stand.

Heyburn said in his ruling that for years many states had a tradition of segregation, deprived women of equal rights under the law and articulated reasons supporting those positions.

“In time, even the most strident supporters of these views understood that they could not enforce their particular moral views to the detriment of another’s constitutional rights,” he wrote.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…