Judge rules KY must recognize out-of-state SSMs
Seventy-five percent of Kentucky voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 that recognized the necessity of opposite-sex partners for a marital relationship. No other union was recognized as a marriage, which would include same-sex marriages solemnized in other states where same-sex marriage is recognized.
On February 12 United States District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that the state of Kentucky must recognize the relationships of same-sex couples who had their marriage solemnized in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, as marriages. He stopped short, however, of declaring Kentucky’s marriage law unconstitutional. For the time being, Kentucky is “only” being required to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as legitimate marriage; they are not (yet) required to solemnize same-sex marriages in their own state.
This makes no sense. A state is being forced to treat, as marriage, a relationship that they have deemed not to be of the marital sort. They are being forced to treat a couple as if they were married, even though they do not meet the necessary requirements of a marital relationship in that state. Bizarre! I find it strange that one state doesn’t have to recognize the BAR of another state (in the practice of law), but they can be forced to recognize another’s state’s aberrant definition of marriage. I have a relative who is a cosmetologist. When he moved from CA to NY, NY wouldn’t even recognize his CA cosmetology license! How can a state be forced to acknowledge another state’s marriage license, but not their cosmetology license? Such is the world we live in.
Judge rules VA marriage amendment unconstitutional
A day after the KY ruling, on Thursday, February 13, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s constitutional amendment that recognized the necessity of opposite-sex partners for a marital relationships is unconstitutional. She put a stay on the decision, however, while it is being appealed. For the time being, it’s business as usual in Virginia.
One aspect of the ruling that has garnered media attention is the judge’s attribution of the phrase “all men are created equal” to the Constitution, when in fact, it appears in the Declaration of Independence. Surely this was a slip of the mind, but it may just reveal something about how little the Constitution comes into play in the mind of many judges when ruling on matters like this. They decide the case on moral grounds before they ever look to the Constitution, and then pluck phrases out of their original context to make them support their foregone conclusion. Anybody who reads the Constitution and think it provides a right to same-sex marriage isn’t reading the Constitution, but rather reading something into the Constitution.
You can read the opinion here.
UPDATE: The 4th U.S. Circuit Appeals Court upheld the judge’s decision regarding Virginia’s marriage law by a 2-1 decision.