Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
On July 1, 2014, Judge John Heyburn of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky found the amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by treating same-sex couples differently than straight couples. He also pointed to the fact that every federal court case regarding same-sex marriage bans has found them unconstitutional. Heyburn said of this issue,
|“||Those opposed by and large simply believe that the state has the right to adopt a particular religious or traditional view of marriage regardless of how it may affect gay and lesbian persons. But, as this Court has respectfully explained, in America even sincere and long-held religious views do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted. [...]
Sometimes, by upholding equal rights for a few, courts necessarily must require others to forebear some prior conduct or restrain some personal instinct. Here, that would not seem to be the case. Assuring equal protection for same-sex couples does not diminish the freedom of others to any degree.
Heyburn stayed the pending an appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decides multiple same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky and three other states. The oral arguments are scheduled to begin in that court on August 6, 2014.
This was not Heyburn's first decision regarding same-sex marriage in Kentucky. In February 2014, he struck a ban on recognizing same-sex marriages from outside of Kentucky. He placed a stay on that ruling, at the time.
|Kentucky Marriage Amendment|
|Overturned Case:Love, et al. v. Beshear CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:13-CV-750-H|
Text on ballot
The text on the ballot said:
"Are you in favor of amending the Kentucky Constitution to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be a marriage in Kentucky, and that a legal status identical to or similar to marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized?"
Financing the campaign
A total of $724,234 was spent on both sides of the campaign, with $201,370 on the pro-side and $522,864 on the anti-side.
The major donors to the "yes" vote side were:
- Vote Yes for Marriage Committee, $135,493.
- Yes for Traditional Marriage, $41,308.
The committee supporting the "no" side, Kentucky Families for Fairness, had 791 donors. The major donors were:
- National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, $73,000.
- Carla Wallace, $43,754.
- Stinson-Lewis-Stinson Pride Foundation, $40,000.
- Fairness Campaign, $17,000.
Voters in 30 states have approved legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or initiated constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages at the ballot box. The first constitutional prohibition was in 1998, and the latest one occurred in May 2012. Most of these amendments define marriage along the lines of a "union of one male and one female."
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters, but later overturned by courts:
- Alaska Marriage Amendment, Measure 2 (1998)
- Nevada Marriage Amendment, Question 2 (2002)
- Montana Marriage Verification, Measure CI-96 (2004)
- Oklahoma Marriage Question 711 (2004)
- Oregon Marriage Measure 36 (2004)
- Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 3 (2004)
- Kansas Marriage Amendment (2005)
- Alabama Sanctity of Marriage, Constitutional Amendment 774 (June 2006)
- Colorado Definition of Marriage, Initiative 43 (2006)
- Idaho Marriage Definition, HJR 2 (2006)
- South Carolina Amendment 1, the Marriage Act (2006)
- Virginia Question 1, Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Wisconsin Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2006)
- Arizona Marriage Protection, Proposition 102 (2008)
- California Proposition 8, the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" Initiative (2008)
- Florida Definition of Marriage, Amendment 2 (2008)
- North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage, Amendment 1 (May 2012)
Cases overturning the following bans have been appealed to higher courts and are currently stayed:
- Nebraska Marriage Definition Amendment, Initiative 416 (2000)
- Missouri Marriage Definition, Amendment 2 (August 2004)
- Note: Same-sex marriage is legal in St. Louis County and the state recognizes same-sex marriages.
- Mississippi Marriage Definition, Amendment 1 (2004)
- Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
- South Dakota Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Texas Definition of Marriage Act, Proposition 2 (2005)
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters and have been upheld or not overturned by courts:
- Louisiana Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (September 2004)
- Georgia Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2004)
- Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Michigan Marriage Amendment, Proposal 2 (2004)
- North Dakota Definition of Marriage, Constitutional Measure 1 (2004)
- Ohio Issue 1, the Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Tennessee Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 1 (2006)
The following constitutional bans were defeated by voters:
- Note: Arizonans defeated a measure in 2006, but approved one in 2008, which has been overturned.
- 2004 Kentucky Election Results (dead link)
- Associated Press, "Judge Strikes Down Kentucky's Gay Marriage Ban," July 1, 2014
- Love, et al. v. Besehar, 3:13-CV-750-H (W.D.K.L. 2014)
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- USA Today, "Gays have right to marry in Kentucky, judge rules," July 1, 2014
- Follow the Money database on the Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
State of Kentucky
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Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | State Treasurer | Auditor of Public Accounts | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor Cabinet | Chairman of Public Services |