Local leaders react to landmark Supreme Court decision on gay ma - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local leaders react to landmark Supreme Court decision on gay marriage

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Leaders throughout Kentucky and Indiana are reacting to the landmark Supreme Court decision Friday that effectively legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer issued a statement shortly after the decision was announced:
"This is a monumental win for equal treatment under the law, and I'm pleased that Louisville couples were part of this historic decision. Louisville has a proud history of leadership on fairness and civil rights. Fifty-two years ago, Louisville became the first city in the South to pass an ordinance banning discrimination in public accommodations based on skin color. Four years later, our city was the first in the South to enact an open housing law. And, in the late 1990s, Louisville led our state by passing a Fairness ordinance that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, public accommodations and employment. Our nation took a giant leap forward today."


Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear issued the following statement:
"The fractured laws across the country concerning same-sex marriage had created an unsustainable and unbalanced legal environment, wherein citizens were treated differently depending on the state in which they resided. That situation was unfair, no matter which side of the debate you may support.

Kentuckians, and indeed all Americans, deserved a final determination of what the law in this country would be, and that is the reason we pursued an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Today's opinion finally provides that clarity.

All Cabinets of the executive branch have been directed to immediately alter any policies necessary to implement the decision from the Supreme Court.

Effective today, Kentucky will recognize as valid all same-sex marriages performed in other states and in Kentucky. I have instructed the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives to provide revised marriage license forms to our county clerks for immediate use, beginning today. We will report additional expected policy changes in the coming days."


Freedom Indiana campaign manager Katie Blair, a lobbyist for gay marriage, also issued a statement:

"So many families have waited so long for this day that it hardly seems real, but the Court made clear today that all Americans should have the freedom to marry the person they love.


"Freedom Indiana got its start two years ago fighting a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw the very thing the Court today recognized as "a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person." Hoosier couples won the freedom to marry last June. And now same-sex marriage is the law of the land in the United States.

"As we celebrate this victory for families across our nation, we must not forget that our work here is not done. In Indiana, you can still be fired, denied housing or turned away for service because you are gay. Without statewide nondiscrimination protections in place, LGBT Hoosiers have to seek out inclusive communities. They should feel welcome everywhere, and we'll continue our fight to update state civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Just as all Americans should have the freedom to marry, we want to make sure all Hoosiers have the freedom to live, work and play in our state with no fear of discrimination."


This morning, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement:

"I welcome today's Supreme Court ruling that all Americans are now free to marry whom they love. We are a stronger state in Indiana and a stronger country when we support inclusion, respect, and equality for all Americans."


Dan Coates, the U.S. Senator from Indiana, issued the following statement:

"Decisions of faith are the most personal and precious we make in this lifetime. Guided by my Christian faith, I believe that marriage is a solemn covenant made between a man and a woman before God. I also believe we should live our lives rooted in love and respect for our neighbors, regardless of their personal decisions or religious convictions.

"It is my long-held opinion that this deeply personal issue – which divides many families and friends – should be decided by the voters in each state. Now that the Supreme Court has imposed its own definition of marriage, we must ensure that religious freedom is protected across America. Established in our nation's founding days and sustained for over 200 years, religious liberty is at the very core of our system of government and our way of life. All people of all faiths must have the right to exercise their faith within the bounds of our justice system."


Kentucky Attorney Jack Conway issued this statement on the ruling:

"Today, the United States Supreme Court issued the final word on this issue. The ruling does not tell a minister or congregation what they must do, but it does make clear that the government cannot pick and choose when it comes to issuing marriage licenses and the benefits they confer. It is time to move forward because the good-paying jobs are going to states that are inclusive.

As Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I did my duty and defended Kentucky's constitutional amendment. When Judge Heyburn ruled the amendment was unconstitutional, I agreed with his legal analysis and used the discretion given to me by statute to inform Gov. Beshear and the citizens of the Commonwealth that I would not waste the scarce resources of this office pursuing a costly appeal that would not be successful.

As the Court profoundly stated in its opinion regarding the plaintiffs, 'They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.'"

Martin Cothran, the senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation, the advocacy group that pushed the passage of Kentucky's Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004, issued a statement on the organization's behalf.


"This is the Supreme Court gone rogue from the Constitution."

"Not only does the 14th amendment say nothing about same-sex marriage, but no one seriously believes the 14th Amendment prohibits states from defining marriage as between a man and a woman, not the people who wrote it, nor the people who ratified it, nor the judges who today have rewritten it to make it mean what they want it to mean."

"This has nothing to do with interpreting the Constitution; this has everything to do with an elite caste of judges who think they have the power to rewrite it."

"Judges are supposed to be impartial legal referees. But if all of a sudden you see the refs shooting three point shots for the other team, you know things have gone wrong."

"When conservatives want to change the Constitution, they have to follow the democratic process; but when liberals want to change the Constitution, all they have to do is find sympathetic judges to do it by abusing their power. In the name of 'fairness', liberals have politicized the judiciary and created an uneven playing field."

"Social conservatives can see this as their Waterloo or as a 'Remember the Alamo' moment. When the abortion laws of all 50 states were invalidated by the Supreme Court in the 1972 Roe v. Wade decision, it was the beginning, not the end, of the pro-life movement. Ever since then, it has been a rallying cry for the unborn. This decision could very well become the same thing for traditional marriage."


Matt Bevin, a candidate for Kentucky governor, issued the following statement:
"I strongly disagree with today's ruling by the Supreme Court. When the definition of marriage was put on the ballot 10 years ago, 74% of Kentuckians made it clear that they supported traditional marriage. Since that time, however, activist judges have chosen to ignore the will of the people, and to ignore the Constitutional principle of state's rights," said Matt Bevin.

"I agree with Justice Scalia when in his dissent he stated:

"Today's decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court."

"This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves."

"Today's regrettable ruling is also the result of elected officials failing to defend the law. When Kentucky's marriage law was under attack by the courts, our own Attorney General, Jack Conway, abandoned his oath of office, and chose not to defend it. Jack Conway's failure to do his job and defend our laws in Kentucky disqualifies him from being elected to the office of Governor. How can voters trust him not to break his oath again?"


Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes issued the following statement:
"Earlier this morning after the Supreme Court issued its decision regarding same-sex marriage, I immediately reached out to Governor Beshear and his staff to inform them that the Office of the Secretary of State stands ready to help in any way to follow the Court's ruling. We will continue to assist our clerks and fellow state officials in the days moving forward."

The Jewish Community Relations Council released the following statement:

"The Jewish Community Relations Council welcomes today's most just ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court granting full and equal marriage rights to all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. Judaism teaches we are all created in the image of God and as such every human being must be treated with dignity and respect. We celebrate this landmark ruling and are happy that this issue has been decided once and for all."

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