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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriages (SSM) & civil unions in Kentucky.

Part 10: 2014-NOV to now: Reactions to the
ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
affecting Kentucky, as well as Michigan, Ohio
and Tennessee.

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The acronym "LGBT" used throughout this web site refers
to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community.

The acronym "SSM" refers to same-sex marriage.

This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2014-NOV-06: Comment by Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey in her 22-page dissent:

As mentioned previously, the vote by the 6th Circuit Court was 2 to 1. The dissenting vote was cast by Judge Daughtrey, a Democratic appointee. She wrote:

"If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams." 8

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2014-NOV-06: Response by news source:

Amber Hunt wrote:

"A federal appeals court on Thursday brought to an end the extraordinary winning streak enjoyed by same-sex marriage advocates, ruling 2-1 in favor of four states letting voters decide whether to keep their gay-marriage bans intact.

Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee had each argued before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals panel Aug. 6 that their bans should stand unless voters decide to nix them. Thursday's written ruling marked the first loss for marriage-equality advocates since the U.S. Supreme Court last June struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which [had] defined marriage as between a man and a woman." 1

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2014-NOV-07: West Virginia District Court Judge Robert Chambers commented on the 6th Circuit Court's ruling:

Chief Judge Robert C. Chambers of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Huntington Division issued a ruling in the lawsuit McGee et al. v. Cole et al. 2 That document formally nullified West Virginia's constitutional ban of marriages by same-sex couples.

Judge Chamber's ruling contained an interesting footnote starting at the bottom of Page 16 and continued at the bottom of Page 17. He commented on the NOV-06 decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in DeBoer v. Snyder. The DeBoer ruling concluded that bans on marriages by same-sex couples should not be challenged in the courts, but should be left to public opinion or legislative processes to eventually cause a repeal of the bans. That, of course, could easily take two decades in some conservative states. His footnote reads:

"The Sixth Circuit in DeBoer v. Snyder, ... reached the opposite result. The majority there noted two rationales in support of the marriage bans. ... First, the court found the marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee to be rooted in the States’ interest in regulating procreation by providing incentives for parents to remain together. ... But the opinion then conceded that this view of marriage can no longer be sustained, that marriage now serves 'another value -- to solemnize relationships characterized by love, affection, and commitment.' ... Denying marital status and its benefits to a couple that cannot procreate does nothing to further the original interest of regulating procreation and irrationally excludes the couple from the latter purpose of marriage. Second, the majority in DeBoer implores opponents of the marriage bans to proceed slowly, through the legislative process, and justifies the bans by asserting the States’ right to take a 'wait and see' approach. ... This approach, however, fails to recognize the role of courts in the democratic process. It is the duty of the judiciary to examine government action through the lens of the Constitution’s protection of individual freedom. Courts cannot avoid or deny this duty just because it arises during the contentious public debate that often accompanies the evolution of policy making throughout the states. Judges may not simultaneously find a right violated yet defer to an uncertain future remedy voluntarily undertaken by the violators."

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2014-NOV: Other reactions:

They were mostly positive. People on both sides anticipate an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court who might issue a ruling that affects more than the four states involved in DeBoer v. Snyder and might either enable or forbid same-sex marriage across the entire country.

  • Chase Strangio, an attorney at the American Civil Liberty Association's Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, said that the ruling is:

    "... an outlier that’s incompatible with the 50 other rulings that uphold fairness for all families. ... We will be filing for Supreme Court review right away and hope that through this deeply disappointing ruling we will be able to bring a uniform rule of equality to the entire country."

  • Freedom To Marry -- a pro-equality group -- comments:

    "On November 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled against the freedom to marry, reversing a lower court ruling in this federal case seeking the freedom to marry in Michigan. The out-of-step decision ignores nearly 50 pro-marriage rulings since June 2013. It's time for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn this decision and rule in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide. 3

  • Brian Brown is president of the National Organization for Marriage -- an anti-marriage equality group. He said:

    "We are ecstatic. The other side was counting their chickens before they’re hatched.:

    Referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal on OCT-06 to consider appeals from three U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, he said:

    "The justices of the Supreme Court were derelict in their duty when they refused to review the marriage cases previously before them. They now have no excuse. 4

  • Carole Stanyar, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, apparently referring to the expected high court appeal said:

    "Onward and upward. We’re ready to go." 7

  • Plaintiff Greg Bourke had married Michael DeLeon in Canada before the couple returned to Kentucky, Bourke said that the ruling was the:

    "... ultimate disappointment. We're definitely going to fight this, one way or the other. And maybe in more than one way. 7

  • Tony Perkins, is president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian para-church organization, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. 5 He said that the recent surge in support for conservatives in the mid-term elections indicates that support for marriage equality is stalling:

    "As the debate continues, recent polls and the election demonstrate that support for marriage redefinition is stalling as Americans begin to experience and consider the consequences for religious freedom, free speech, and parental rights."

    "And as more and more people lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage, many Americans are beginning to see that this is about far more than the marriage alter, but is about fundamentally altering society." 6

  • Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign -- a major pro-equality group -- wrote:

    "In the wake of this devastating decision and the losses equality faced in this week’s election, we have a lot of work ahead of us. The time has come for full marriage equality, everywhere, for everyone." 7

  • The Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal defense group that specializes in lawsuits promoting religious freedom -- including defending conservative Christians who seek the religious freedom to discriminate against the LGBT community. Byron Babione, a senior counsel, claims that the 6th Circuit Court's decision was consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Windsor vs. United States. He said:

    "While Windsor struck down a crucial component of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, it left open the issue of state-level bans on gay marriage.

    The people of every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws.

    The 6th Circuit's decision is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's acknowledgement in Windsor that marriage law is the business of the states." 6

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The next step?

Lyle Denniston in SCOTUSblog -- a web site that monitors activity of the U.S. Supreme Court -- wrote that the decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is:

"... precisely the kind of division of judgment that ordinarily will lead the Supreme Court to step in to resolve the split, especially on an issue of fundamental constitutional significance." 6

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This topic is continued on the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Amber Hunt, "Court: No same-sex marriage in OH, KY," Cincinnat!, 2014-NOV-06, at:
  2. Ruling in McGee et al. v. Cole et al., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Huntington Division, 2014-NOV-07, at:
  3. "DeBoer v. Snyder. What's Happening," Freedom to Marry, 2014-NOV, at:
  4. David Crary, "Joy, dismay as gay marriage advocates, opponents assess 6th Circuit ruling," LGBTQNATION, 2014-NOV-07, at:
  5. David Demirbilek, "Southern Poverty Law Center repeats 'hate group' claim about Family Research Council," Daily Caller, 2012-SEP-13, at:
  6. Michael Gryboski, "Sixth Circuit Decision to Uphold Gay Marriage Ban Part of Trend in Favor of Traditional Marriage, Conservatives Say," Christian Post, 2014-NOV-07, at:
  7. David Crary, "Joy, Dismay as 2 Sides Assess Gay-Marriage Ruling," 2014-NOV-07, at:
  8. Richard Wolf, "Gay marriage bans in four states upheld, Supreme Court review likely," USA Today, 2014-NOV-07, at:

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Site navigation: Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > Menu > Kentucky > here

Copyright © by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initially posted: 2014-NOV-10
Latest update: 2014-NOV-20
Author: B.A. Robinson
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