Kentucky Marriage Amendment Challenged

A suit has been filed challenging the constitutionality of the recently approved Kentucky marriage amendment.

Three Kentuckians who filed the suit argued that the amendment that went before voters was unconstitutional since it deals with more than one subject

Marriage is defined between one man and one woman, thereby banning same-sex marriage, in the first part of the amendment. But the lawsuit contends that the second part of the amendment bans civil unions, an issue unrelated to the first.

Kentucky’s amendment reads, “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

The plaintiffs say that if voters were given a choice, they could have voted to ban gay marriage but approve gay civil unions.

Bill Rambicure, a Lexington lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told the Courier-Journal that the wording of the measure was “misleading.”

Proponents of the amendment say the Kentucky Constitution allows “related subject matters” to be included under the same amendment.

“Defining what marriage is and rejecting marriage imitations are certainly related,” said Glen Lavy, senior vice president of the Marriage Litigation Center of Alliance Defense Fund. “Protecting marriage for what it is—a union between a man and a woman—is one subject.”

Alliance Defense Fund lawyers will represent Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation, and Sen. Vernie McGaha as defendants in the case, Charlotte Wood v. Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“The people have spoken overwhelmingly in Kentucky,” Lavy added. “Yet those devoted to a same-sex ‘marriage’ agenda will stop at nothing to try to undo what 3 out of 4 Kentucky voters approved on Election Day. Our clients intend to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Kentucky was one of 11 states which approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman during the Nov. 2 election and among the 17 states in the nation that have done so.