Wednesday, June 26, 2013

PRESS RELEASE: High Court strikes down DOMA, leaves Ky Marriage Amendment intact

LEXINGTON, KY —"The two decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court today had to be a disappointment for those who are seeking to redefine marriage in Kentucky," said Martin Cothran, a spokesman for The Family Foundation. In two decisions rendered today, one on California's Proposition 8 and another on the U. S. Congress' Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Court declined to rule that same-sex marriage is a "right" under the Constitution.

“In the Proposition 8 case, what we have is a situation where California public officials simply didn’t show up to defend the law,” said Cothran. “Proposition 8 was struck down, but only on procedural grounds.”

“In the DOMA case, Justice Anthony Kennedy invalidated the federal law and left marriage amendments like Kentucky’s intact. He basically invalidated DOMA because of state’s rights. We need to further analyze his reason for doing so. Legal decisions by the Supreme Court on issues like this seem to depend a lot on how Justice Kennedy is feeling that day. We will have more to say on this after we analyze his logic.”

"In the past, the Supreme Court has 'discovered' rights in the Constitution that nobody had noticed before," said Cothran. "We're just thankful the justices decided not to create rights out of whole cloth on this issue like they have for some other issues."

"The idea that the founding fathers secretly placed same-sex marriage rights in the Constitution for liberal judges to find two centuries later does not exactly constitute a convincing case," said Cothran, who was the lead lobbyist on the 2004 Kentucky Marriage Amendment.

“This is not the Roe v. Wade of marriage. The bottom line for Kentuckians is that Kentucky's Marriage Amendment is left intact, which was passed with more votes in favor than votes on both sides of any previous Kentucky constitutional amendment."

Cothran said his group will continue to oppose attempts to thwart the Kentucky Constitution's clear language in regard to marriage.


Art said...

Someone help me out. Does KY recognize marriage licenses issued in MA?

KyCobb said...

"Does KY recognize marriage licenses issued in MA?"

Yes. Lots of Kentuckians get married in other states, and Kentucky recognizes those marriages as long as they are between a man and a woman. Kennedy's opinion mentioned states' rights, but it wasn't the foundation of his decision. It was primarily based on the fact that Congress can't pass laws just as an expression of animus for some people. Its true this isn't the Roe v. Wade for marriage. Its more like the Griswold v. Connecticut of marriage; I agree with Scalia that it will lead to marriage equality nationally.

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court merely ruled that federal spousal benefits can not be denied to homosexuals legally married by state laws. That's a long way from legalizing gay marriage nationally. In the meantime, California voters have seen their direct vote on the issue thrown out the window. Ah, democracy.

KyCobb said...


If the voters voided your marriage, you would appreciate the courts protecting your rights against democracy.

Martin Cothran said...

Oh, sorry. I misread Art's comment. I thought he was asking about same-sex marriages. I see now he didn't specify that.

Art said...

Actually, Martin, I can imagine a scenario where a court would tell the Commonwealth of Kentucky that it cannot dismiss some legal licenses issued in MA but not others. And I can imagine that some KY legislator would file legislation that would indeed disavow all marriage licenses issued in states such as MA that allow same-sex marriages.

In other words, the answer to my question may well be no at some time in the future.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Ky Cobb, as long as we acknowledge that some of the most abominable political decisions in American history have come from un-elected judges. Marriage has never been a federal issue, nor should it be now. BTW What, if anything, is wrong with gay polygamy?

KyCobb said...


Thats easy, the state has the right to protect the financial and emotional interests of first spouses. As long as the state has a rational basis and no suspect classification is being used, the law is constitutional.