Federal Judge Strikes Down Kentucky’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 1 2014 8:12 PM

Federal Judge Strikes Down Kentucky’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

81601297-same-sex-couple-ariel-owens-and-his-spouse-joseph-barham
Soon this picture could be taken in Kentucky.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A federal court struck down Kentucky’s gay marriage ban on Tuesday, ruling that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Gay couples in the state, however, will have to wait to get married because the ruling was temporarily put on hold pending appeal.

“[A]s 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,” Judge John G. Heyburn wrote in his opinion. “Assuring equal protection for same-sex couples does not diminish the freedom of others to any degree."

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The ruling undoing Kentucky’s prohibition on same-sex marriages is the latest in a series of court decisions against state bans on gay marriage although, according to the Associated Press, Kentucky is “the most recent conservative state to have its ban overturned.”  Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear argued in favor of maintaining the ban, Louisville’s the Courier-Journal reports, “because only opposite sex couples can procreate and maintain the state's birth rate and economy.” "These arguments are not those of serious people," Judge Heyburn wrote of Beshear’s reasoning.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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