Same-sex marriage advocates protest court ruling at Jefferson Sq - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Same-sex marriage advocates protest court ruling at Jefferson Square

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Protesters gathered at a park in downtown Louisville Friday to rally against Kentucky's ban on gay marriage.

During Friday's "Love Will Win" rally, plaintiffs in the lawsuits seeking to have their marriages recognized or get married in Kentucky, along with members of the Fairness Campaign and other supporters, pledged to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

The appeals court ruled Thursday that the fate of same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky and three other states should be left to voters, not the legal system.

They turned their passion into action, hoping their message rings out to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Kentucky is no longer going to be that backwards state, that hillbilly state that is not progressive," said Laura Landenwich, the attorney for the plaintiffs. "It is going to pave the way for marriage equality throughout the south and throughout the country."

Luke Barlow and Jim Meade are one of several couples suing Kentucky on its gay marriage ban. The decision to uphold it by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals means the commonwealth doesn't even have to recognize same sex marriages like theirs, performed legally in other states.

"I was very disappointed and very discouraged," Meade said.

The appeals court found the issue should best be left to voters.

Conservatives say Kentucky already did that.

"More voters approved this amendment to the constitution which defined marriage the traditional way than voted for and against any provisions constitutional amendment," said Martin Cothran with the Family Foundation.

Chris Hartman with the Fairness Campaign says the decision moves the state's same-sex couple closer to getting their case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"It's not unexpected," Hartman said. "I think we all knew the sixth circuit was going to rule against LGBT freedom to marry...the sixth circuit is the most overturned circuit at the Supreme Court in the entire nation."

Gay couples say it's more of a civil rights issue; so far, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same sex marriage. Gay marriage recently became legal in Indiana, making this region the center of a national debate.

"Now it will go to the Supreme Court, and we won't have to deal with those monkeys in Cincinnati," said Luke.

The appeals court's decision also upholds laws against same sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

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