Today, federal district judge John Heyburn ruled that Kentucky's prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling, styled Love v. Beshear, follows Heyburn's previous opinion in Bourke v. Beshear that Kentucky's refusal to recognize valid out-of-state marriages is similarly unconstitutional.
The Love opinion joins nearly twenty other federal courts which have unanimously ruled against discriminatory marriage laws since last summer's Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor.
The opinion is available here.
Some of the highlights:
Regarding Governor Beshear's argument that Baker v. Nelson bars federal courts from considering challenges to state same-sex marriage bans:
Regarding whether or not homosexuals are a "suspect class" entitled to heightened judicial scrutiny:
Regarding Governor Beshear's argument that prohibiting same-sex marriage contributes to stable birth rates:
Full disclosure: I am one of the plaintiffs' attorneys in this case, joined by Shannon Fauver and Dawn Elliott of the Fauver Law Office and my colleagues Daniel Canon and Laura Landenwich at Clay Daniel Walton & Adams.