Legal News

Federal Court Compels Kentucky to Recognize Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in the Western District of Kentucky at Louisville has struck down Kentucky’s constitutional and statutory provisions that excluded same-sex couples married out-of-state from state recognition and marriage benefits available to opposite-sex couples who were similarly situated and married out-of-state.

Same-sex marriage bans have been similarly struck down recently by federal courts in Oklahoma, Utah, Ohio, California and other states, while the Supreme Court of New Mexico also struck down same-sex marriage bans on similar grounds.


The judge wrote “While Kentucky unquestionably has the power to regulate the recognition of civil marriages, those regulations must comply with the Constitution of the United States …”

In summing up the issue before the court, Judge Heyburn observed the issue was whether Kentucky could justifiably deny those in same-sex marriages the benefits it currently awards to opposite-sex spouses.

And in clarifying popular misconceptions about the issue, the court observed, “For those not trained in legal discourse, the questions may be less logical and more emotional. They concern issues of faith, beliefs and traditions. Our Constitution was designed both to protect religious beliefs and prevent unlawful government discrimination based upon them.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Commenting that the plaintiffs were average stable American families, the court struck down Kentucky’s denial of recognition for valid same-sex marriage as it violates the guarantee of equal protection under the law enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The court pointed out that certain federal protections are available only to couples whose marriage is legally recognized by their home state: “For example, a same-sex spouse in Kentucky cannot take time off work to care for a sick spouse under the Family Medical Leave Act. 29 C.F.R. § 825.122(b). In addition, a same-sex spouse in Kentucky is denied access to a spouse’s social security benefits. 42 U.S.C. § 416(h)(1)(A)(i). No one denies these disparities.”

While striking down Kentucky’s laws, Heyburn observed, it will, “make real the promise of equal protection under the law. It will profoundly affect validly married same-sex couples’ experience of living in the commonwealth and elevate their marriage to an equal status in the eyes of the state law.”


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Mid-level Litigation Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office is seeking a mid-level litigation attorney with experience taking/defending dep...

Apply Now

Mid-level Litigation Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office is seeking a support attorney with some experience/familiarity with a litigatio...

Apply Now

Patent Prosecution Attorney


Northville office of our client seeks patent prosecution attorney with 5 years of experience. The ca...

Apply Now

Trademark and Copyright Associate Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of our client seeks trademark and copyright associate attorney with 4-8 years o...

Apply Now


Attorney - Insurance Defense


Downtown litigation law firm seeks associate with 3 to 5 years of experience in insurance defense, i...

Apply now

Legal Secretary-Cannabis Law Firm


Vora, PLLC. Is accepting applications for a Legal Secretary or Paralegal. We are a cannabis law firm...

Apply now

Paralegal- Cannabis Law Firm


Vora, PLLC. Is accepting applications for a Paralegal or Legal Secretary. We are a cannabis law...

Apply now

Legal Administrative Assistant


Under the general direction of the supervising attorney(s) and according to established Firm policie...

Apply now


To Top