Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
-Christian definition
 -Shared beliefs
 -Handling change
 -Bible topics
 -Bible inerrancy
 -Bible harmony
 -Interpret the Bible
 -Beliefs & creeds
 -Da Vinci code
 -Revelation, 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news



Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Kentucky, the bluegrass state.

1972 to now:
The path towards legalizing same- sex marriage
in Kentucky via the federal and state courts.

horizontal rule

wedding rings imageTimeline leading to the legalization of gay marriages across the U.S.:

  • 1972: Two women attempted to marry, were refused a marriage license, and filed a law suit seeking the right to marry. It failed.

  • 1998: The Legislature passed a defense of marriage act, banning same-sex marriages in state & recognition of out of state marriages.

  • 2004: Voters passed an amendment to the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships.

  • 2013-JUL: A gay couple filed a lawsuit Bourke vs. Beshear in federal District Court seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage which had taken place in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada about a decade earlier. They were later joined by other married, same-sex plaintiffs.

  • 2014-FEB: Judge Heyburn issued a memorandum opinion, and later a ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize of out-of-state same-sex marriages. Ruling is stayed. Two unmarried couples ask to join the lawsuit seeking permission to marry in Kentucky for themselves and other same-sex couples. They are accepted and the case was renamed Love v. Beshear.

  • 2014-JUN: The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled a hearing for the District Court case.

  • 2014-JUL: District Court Judge John Heyburn issued a ruling in Love v. Beshear, affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry in Kentucky. Ruling is stayed pending appeal.

  • 2014-AUG: The 6th U.S. Court of Appeals heard the Love v. Beshear, along with similar cases from three other states.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

  • star 2014-NOV-06. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found same-sex marriage bans in 4 contiguous states to be constitutional! This came as a surprise to many observers because dozens of federal courts had previously ruled various states' bans to be unconstitutional since the high court's ruling in Windsor v. United States during mid-2013.

    U.S. District courts had declared SSM bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee to be unconstitutional because they violate the due process and/or equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. All four cases were appealed to a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who declared the bans constitutional by a 2:1 vote.

    This ruling was expected to be resolved in the future by an appeal to the full 6th Circuit Court or to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the high court had refused to hear appeals from the 4th, 7th and 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals one month previously, they were considered much more likely to accept an appeal from the 6th Circuit Court. That was because the U.S. Supreme Court was then faced with a conflict among the Circuit Courts: three had recently ruled in favor of marriage equality and the 6th has now ruled against. As long as there is agreement among the lower courts, the high court is often reluctant to interfere. But if there is a conflict, the Justices often feel that they have an obligation to intervene to resolve the conflict.

    Later in November, Kentucky and the remaining three states affected by the 6th circuit court ruling appealed their case(s) to the U.S. Supreme Court. As exoected, the High Court accepted the appeal during 2015-JAN.

On 2015-JUN-26, the court issued its ruling that, in theory, legalized same-sex marriages across the entire United States. Two months later, almost same-sex couples could routinely obtain marriage licenses throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four out of five territories. Exceptions were:

  • Some counties in a few states on the mainland where clerks were refusing to issue marriage licenses on personal religious grounds. In doing so, they were violating:
    • Their oath of office which requires them to obey both their state and the federal Constitution.

    • The Ethic of Reciprocity, commonly called the Golden Rule, which is found in Christianity, all other major world religions, and many philosophical systems.

  • The territory of American Samoa. Most inhabitants there are considered American residents, not American citizens. Thus, rulings by the High Court are not necessarily binding there.

  • Some Native American jurisdictions where tribes have powers over cultural matters like marriage.

horizontal rule


horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section concerning recognition in Kentucky of both out-of-state and in-state same-sex marriages:

1972 to 2014-NOV:

2014-NOV to now: Impact of the ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals:

horizontal line

How you may have arrived here:

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > here

horizontal line

Copyright © 2014 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2014-FEB-16
Latest update: 2016-AUG-08
Author: B.A. Robinson
line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

line.gif (538 bytes)

Go to the previous page, or to the the "Same-sex marriage" sub-menu, or choose:

horizontal rule

Custom Search

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

Sponsored links