Kentucky Legal Team Files Brief at US Supreme Court Challenging Marriage Bans for Same-Sex Couples

For Immediate Release

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Crystal Cooper, ACLU national, 212-519-7894, ccooper@aclu.org

Kentucky Legal Team Files Brief at US Supreme Court Challenging Marriage Bans for Same-Sex Couples

NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union, Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and Kentucky-based firms Clay Daniel Walton & Adams and the Fauver Law Office today filed their brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in two Kentucky cases that challenge the state’s laws barring same-sex couples from marrying and barring the recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages from out of state.

The groups represent couples in Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear who seek the freedom to marry in Kentucky and recognition of marriages legally performed outside of Kentucky. These cases challenge Kentucky’s marriage bans on the grounds that they violate the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

“Lives are wrecked when states like Kentucky exclude lesbians and gay men from the status and protections that come with marriage or nullify one partner’s status as a parent or spouse,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project. “Over 50 courts have ruled in favor of marriage equality since DOMA was struck down in 2013. We look to the Supreme Court to side with fairness, equality and love once more.”

The briefs filed today argue that the Commonwealth’s marriage bans violate the due process and equality protections of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Petitioners make no extreme demands. Instead, they ask merely to be treated like everyone else – that is, free to enter into society’s most revered form of mutual association and support, and worthy of the stature and crucial protections that marriage affords,” states the attorneys’ brief.

“We are optimistic that the Court will finally recognize equal marriage rights for our clients and other loving, committed couples all over the country,” said Dan Canon of Clay Daniel Walton & Adams.

On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of a federal appeals court ruling that upheld bans on the freedom to marry and recognition of marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other jurisdictions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Its review sets the stage for final resolution of the debate about marriage equality for same-sex couples nationwide.

The brief is available at: https://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/bourke-v-beshear-love-v-beshear-aclu-brief

More information about the case is available at: https://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/bourke-v-beshear-love-v-beshear-freedom-marry-kentucky

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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