Despite same-sex couples in Kentucky being unable to get marriage licenses for the time being, a federal judge ruled against the state’s ban on gay marriages, implying the constitution is above God. Judge John Heyburn II from the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky said that Kentucky’s ban infringed upon the constitutional rights of same-sex couples, while staying his decision pending appeal.
“As this Court has respectfully explained, in America even sincere and long-held religious views do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,” he wrote in his opinion.
The recent decision in Kentucky is the latest in a string of federal court rulings in favour of same-sex marriages. Tuesday’s ruling was the 23rd consecutive pro-gay-marriage ruling since the Supreme Court took a similar stand in summer 2013 by striking down an important section of the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing judges the legal authority to overturn state bans and granting married gay couples federal recognition.
According to Freedom to Marry, a LGBT advocacy group, federal courts have issued 18 rulings that affect policies in 14 states and gay marriage bans have been challenged in every state. Of all the states that have challenged gay marriage bans, 10 have succeeded in having them quashed.
“Assuring equal protection for same-sex couples does not diminish the freedom of others to any degree. Thus, same-sex couples’ right to marry seems to be a uniquely ‘free’ constitutional right,” wrote Heyburn while ruling against the ban.
Proponents of gay marriage are hoping that the Supreme Court takes up the issue soon.