With Kentucky Decision, Nation Running Dangerously Low On States Without Marriage Equality
If it's Tuesday, this must be another post about a federal judge throwing out a state law banning same-sex marriage. The lucky winner this time around is Kentucky, where U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II overturned the state's 2004 constitutional amendment against gay unions, writing another of thosedecisions (PDF link) that aim for a memorable turn of phrase:
In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted.
Yep, that's pretty good. But is there more? There is more.
Judge Heyburn put the ruling on hold, since there are several other marriage equality cases at the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, so sorry, no rushing off to the county courthouse just yet. Except maybe to wave a sign that mostly says hooray for our side.
As you may recall, Kentucky's anti-gay amendment was so lousy that the state's hot Attorney General, Democrat Jack Conway, announced that he would not defend the thing, so Gov. Steve Beshear, also a Democrat, hired an outside firm to defend the law.
And now the Money Quote for this case: the only defense that the state presented for keeping the law was that "traditional" marriages keep the birth rate stable and help to ensure the state's long-term economic stability, claims that Heyburn almost seemed irked by, saying, "These arguments are not those of serious people":
Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have ... The Court finds no rational relation between the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the Commonwealth’s asserted interest in promoting naturally procreative marriages
And if he was unconvinced by the "stable birth rate" argument, Heyburn seems almost irritated that the state wastes his time with by the "economic stability" claim:
The state’s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in “ensuring humanity’s continued existence” are at best illogical and even bewildering. These arguments fail for the precise reasons that Defendant’s procreation argument fails.
Numerous courts have repeatedly debunked all other reasons for enacting such laws. The Court can think of no other conceivable legitimate reason for Kentucky’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage.
Once again, Yr Wonkette is compelled to note that Kentucky appears to have escaped the day without a single thunderbolt, meteor, seismic event, or plague of boils being visited upon the state by a vengeful Jehovah. This brings to 21 the number of federal courts that have thrown out state bans on marriage equality, and even though Yr Wonkette hasn't covered every single one of them, it is getting increasingly difficult to say anything new or creative about them. Isn't that terrific?
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.