Kentucky couples become center of same-sex marriage debate as ca - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky couples become center of same-sex marriage debate as case heads to Supreme Court

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether gay couples nationwide have a right to marry under the constitution and Louisville couples will become part of history as the case is argued in Washington in April.

There was a celebration at a Louisville law office as local couples learned their next stop is the Supreme Court.

"I feel like we've been fighting this battle for the last 32 years," plaintiff Greg Bourke said.

The justices deciding to take up the contentious social issue in what will be one of the most anticipated rulings of the year.

"We just can't wait," another plaintiff, Kim Franklin, said.

To say that Kentucky will be front and center in the decision is no understatement.

"A little under two years ago we had no idea we just filed this because it was the right case to take," attorney Shannon Fauver said.

The court will hear only cases concerning marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio Tennessee and Kentucky.

"We've been together for 23 years and we've adopted four children," plaintiff Randy Johnson said. "We value love and togetherness just like any other family and we believe we deserve the legal recognition just like any other family in Kentucky."

The decision comes after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in November to uphold marriage restrictions in those four states.

That put pressure on the Supreme Court to take up the matter once and for all.

"I think this is the right court these are the right cases this is the right time," attorney Laura Landenwich said.

There may be no other issue more polarizing in the Commonwealth.

The Family Foundation of Kentucky has long argued against gay marriage.

"The court has just been giving in to what they perceive the way culture is going and, unfortunately, the court is not very good at predicting that," Martin Cothran, with the Family Foundation, said.

The Supreme Court is divided on gay rights and Justice Anthony Kennedy will likely be the key vote.

It's currently legal for same sex couples to marry in 36 states and Washington D.C., but this case will decide how the whole country moves forward.

Martin Cothran 4:46 "We think the court should just get out of the prophecy business and just do law," Cothran said.

Landenwich countered, "It's going to happen. By July our plaintiffs'familiess will have equal rights with all other families in Kentucky and across the south and the country."

Oral arguments will be heard in April with a decision expected in June.

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