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Kentucky asks U.S Supreme Court to hear marriage equality case

On Tuesday, Kentucky officials filed a brief in support of a writ of certiorari calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Love v. Beshear, the case challenging the state’s ban on marriage equality.

Kentucky is now the third state, behind Louisiana and Michigan, with marriage petitions and responses before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

On February 12, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled in Bourke v. Beshear that Kentucky ’s marriage amendment violates the constitutional principal of equal protection and that the Commonwealth cannot refuse to recognize valid same-sex marriages performed in other states. The judge, who was appointed to the bench by President George H. W. Bush, sided with four plaintiff couples, who had legally married elsewhere before seeking state recognition in Kentucky.  Soon after, two unmarried same-sex couples were permitted to intervene in the case.  The case was renamed Love v. Beshear and on July 1, 2014, Judge Heyburn again ruled against Kentucky’s marriage ban, this time deciding against the provision forbidding the Commonwealth from performing marriages for same-sex couples.  Judge Heyburn stayed his decisions in each ruling, pending appeal to the Sixth Circuit. The plaintiffs are represented by Clay Daniel Walton & Adams PLC, and Fauver Law Office PLLC.

In November, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the marriage equality bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

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This was first published on the HRC blog. To read the HRC Blog, click HERE.