Federal judge & policy analyst discuss Kentucky gay marriage - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Federal judge & policy analyst discuss Kentucky gay marriage

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Last week, a federal appeals court upheld Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage, rolling back two rulings that would have allowed gay couples to have their unions in other states recognized in Kentucky.

On Thursday, two key figures on opposite sides of the matter met to discuss. Federal Judge John Heyburn and Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for the Family Foundation, discussed the topic at Louisville's Ice House on Thursday.

They spoke at a luncheon held by the Women Lawyer's Association of Jefferson County.

"The fact that 70 percent of Kentuckians voted on a particular issue, again to me, in terms of the legal issues, that really is irrelevant," said Judge Heyburn.

"The best place for children in our society is to grow up in a home with a natural mother and a natural father," said Cothran.

"If they adopt children, it helps the children. Then they have two parents and research shows two parents of any kind is better than one parent of any kind," Heyburn added.

Public defender Patti Echsner and her partner, who's also a lawyer, are following the issue closely.

"Since we couldn't get married in Kentucky, we got married in New York City," she told WDRB.

She posed a question to Cothran during the discussion.

"How does, as a gay couple, if we get married, negatively affect anyone?" she asked.

"There are kind of two different world views in conflict here," said Cothran.

"I think he wanted to continue to talk about moral and religious issue and for me it's not about that. For me and my partner it's about having equal rights," said Echsner.

Heyburn calls marriage a free right.

"In ten years, we're going to look back and wonder what all the fuss was about," he told the crowd.

Cothran believes it should only be shared by a man and a woman.

"There was no one including gays who did not universally believe this until about the mid 1990s," said Cothran.

"I have a whole lot more confidence in America than you do apparently do," added Heyburn.
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