Right on cue, Kentucky joins the fight for marriage equality in the United States. Local CBS affiliate WLKY of Louisville is reporting that the first federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was filed this morning on behalf of Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon—a couple that has been married for 31 years.
The 19-page document states that Bourke and Deleon were married in Ontario, Canada, are “treated as legal strangers in their home state of Kentucky,” and the federal ban on same-sex marriage has stigmatized the couple’s children “by denying their family social recognition and respect.”
The suit, filed by Louisville attorneys Shannon Fauver and Dawn Elliot, demands that all marital benefits awarded to heterosexual couples be extended to same-sex couples:
Kentucky’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage infringes on the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This discriminatory treatment is subject to heightened scrutiny because it burdens the fundamental right to marry and because it discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation. But it cannot stand under any level of scrutiny because the exclusion does not rationally further any legitimate government interest. It serves only to disparage and injure lesbian and gay couples and their families.
Best of luck to the Plaintiffs (even though they already have this in the bag)!
[Photo via WLKY]