LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld Kentucky's bans on same-sex marriages, rolling back two rulings that opened the door for gay couples to have their unions in other states recognized and to be wed in the Bluegrass State.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panels' 2-1 ruling Thursday is the highest-level court victory for gay marriage opponents after a flood of 20-plus court wins for supporters of same-sex marriage in the past year.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to hear appeals of gay marriage bans in five states will not directly affect Kentucky because the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the state's case.
Kentuckians as well as folks in Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan are waiting on a ruling on same-sex marriage from the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Knowing that a ruling could come soon…and in light of growing speculation of the issue going to the nation’s highest court, we’ll discuss Re-defining marriage on this week’s EST.
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The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban Wednesday. It will also hear cases from Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. A ruling by the court in Cincinnati in favor of gay marriage could impact marriage ceremonies at some Kentucky churches. Leaders at two Lexington churches have differing views about same sex marriage.
If a federal court ruling in favor of gay marriage in Kentucky is upheld following appeals, it could mean slight changes in the way marriage licenses are processed. Discussions are underway about how such a ruling might affect County Clerks across the state.
U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn has struck down Kentucky's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside the state.
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., issued a statement commending the judge's ruling: “I am proud of the four Kentucky families who are standing up for marriage equality in this lawsuit and of the thousands more who continue this fight every day. Today’s ruling is an important step forward in the march toward recognition of all marriages under the law and full equality in our Commonwealth.”
Meanwhile, the Family Foundation issued a statement taking the opposite point of view. According to the foundation's news release: "Kentucky marriage policy will now be dictated from places like Boston and San Francisco," said Martin Cothran, a spokesman for The Family Foundation said in the release.
A majority of Kentucky voters continues to oppose same-sex marriage, but public opinion appears to be shifting on the issue.
A new Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegrass Poll found that 55 percent of registered voters oppose same-sex marriage, compared with 35 percent who support allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Kentucky. Ten percent weren't sure.
On this week's edition edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss gay marriage. The program which is "live" on Kentucky Educational Television Monday evening at 8:00, will be re-broadcast Tuesday morning at 11:00 on WEKU.