Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Kentucky marriage equality case re-named Love v. Beshear

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Kentucky state sealThis afternoon, there are several updates in the challenge to Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban and the state’s non-recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside the state.

First, with the addition of new plaintiffs in the case asking the district court judge to invalidate Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages, the case has been re-titled Love v. Beshear. One new plaintiff is named Timothy Love.

Secondly, the court has granted a 21-day stay of its order requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. This week, the state requested a 90-day stay, suggesting that the additional time “will give Defendants time to determine if they will appeal the order, and the Executive Branch time to determine what actions must be taken to implement this Court’s Order if no appeal is taken.”.

The judge’s order granting the stay notes that “the state merely asks for reasonable time to implement the Order. The Court concludes that a limited stay allows the state proper time to administratively prepare for compliance with the Order.” The opinion says it was unclear why 90 days were needed for that purpose. The state will have until March 20 to implement its order requiring recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside of Kentucky.

When the same-sex couples who wanted the state’s ban invalidated entirely requested the opportunity to intervene, they asked the judge for a preliminary injunction to prevent state officials from enforcing the ban. When he allowed them to intervene, he said at the time that the preliminary injunction would be denied, because the case would likely be resolved in months. Today the request was officially denied, meaning that same-sex couples can’t yet get married in the state.

As EqualityOnTrial noted previously, briefing on the intervening couples’ claims, the validity of the state’s ban, will be concluded by May 28.

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings

For more information on Love v. Beshear (formerly Bourke v. Beshear) from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.


  • 1. Todd Allis  |  February 28, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I love the new name!

  • 2. AndyInCA  |  February 28, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    "Love vs Kentucky" in 2015!!

  • 3. StraightDave  |  March 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I really do wish that were the actual name. Then if it gets to SCOTUS it could become "Kentucky v Love". Oh, the PR disaster!!

  • 4. Jim  |  February 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Catholic League President Bill Donohue said this week on CNN that marriage isn't about love:

    "Marriage is about families. It’s not about love."

    Correction, Bill: Marriage — opposite sex; same sex — is about families and love.

  • 5. Lynn E  |  February 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Well, maybe HIS isn't. Mine sure is.

  • 6. grod  |  March 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Under whose authority is the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights? The US Conference of Catholic Bishops? Canon 216 leaves little room for uncertainty: it states that no initiative can lay claim to the title “Catholic” without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority. Consent is ongoing. Donohue is not a good spokesperson to articulate the teaching of our Church. Those listening to him who are concerned about his ability to communicate the Church's teaching i.e. life-long covenant of love – particularly under rapid fire, should express their concerns to their bishop. G

  • 7. KarlS  |  March 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    No sentient human could possibly excuse the idiocy of the Catholic "Church" or its insane beliefs. Of all the so-called "christian" sects, they are at the bottom of any list of rational thought.

  • 8. KarlS  |  March 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    There are many morons defending various insipid religious belief systems…this Donohue koksuker is one of the very worst hypocritical assholes. I don't advocate violence but if someone should happen to send this sonofabitch to hell, I would do a happy dance.

  • 9. Fluffyskunk  |  March 4, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Congratulations, someone somewhere is quoting you right now as proof of what all homosexuals REALLY think of all Christians.

  • 10. Matt L  |  March 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I actually agree with Donohue about this (though obviously not for the same reasons). Marriage is society's way of legally making 2 people family (who were non-family before). Without that need, we could just all enjoy our love without the need for state sanction at all (same sex or different sex). BUT — since society does have that need, we have legal marriage. Thus, [legal] marriage is about families, not love. 😉

  • 11. Dan  |  February 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    This is awesome. It makes up for having the first sodomy law case referred to as Hardwick.

    On a more serious note, I have to say I am disappointed in the paltry coverage given to the marriage equality TRIAL that is going on right now in Michigan. Not even one post on days 3 and 4 from a blog that calls itself EqualityOnTrial. What a contrast to the coverage in the media generally of the Prop 8 trial in 2010. I guess the absence of celebrity lawyers has something to do with it.

  • 12. Colleen  |  February 28, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Well to be fair, nothing has happened other than having expert witnesses for the plaintiffs. "Experts" for the state don't take the stand until Monday,according to Detroit reporter Amy Lange's twitter.

  • 13. grod  |  March 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Colleen Nothing happening? On day 1, the state's AG asked the case be thrown out. On February 28, the AG said that the plaintiff had not made their case. Despite the plaintiff's assertion to the contrary, the judge agreed to take under advisement.

  • 14. Tim  |  March 2, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Where'd you get this info? Is it looking good for plaintiffs?

  • 15. grod  |  March 2, 2014 at 3:48 am

    Re – Deboer v Snyder Two places: comment section of Matt Baume's Feb 23 post and the twitter links in Scottie's Feb 26 post on Michigan 'trial'. With twitter, your getting fragments ie February 28- plaintiffs rested their case. Other twits can be found at #MImarriagetrial and @Equality_MI . Re 'looking good', Equality Michigan appears to be optimistic.

  • 16. Tim  |  March 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Thanks grod.

  • 17. Colleen  |  March 2, 2014 at 10:23 am

    IANAL, but that all sounds like the usual business in any lawsuit. Unless EoT gets a big fat donation to sponsor stenographers going into every courthouse, we're not going to get the minutiae of any case until the records are released. Even the really juicy ones.

  • 18. Jason  |  March 3, 2014 at 7:40 am

    How does that make a complete lack of coverage "fair"? Plaintiffs expert witnesses are the ones elaborating on our history, status, culture, etc. Their testimony is important and something we want to know about.

  • 19. Pat  |  March 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

    I have to agree. I was also surprised that we often have detailed posts about rather minute filing specifics, but now that actual action is finally taking place in this high-profile case, we get only one post for the whole first week of trial.

  • 20. Dr. Z  |  March 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    During the Perry trial we had such good coverage because there was a small army of volunteers helping transcribe the trial for actors. If the volunteers aren't there this time around, then maybe a new group of people should see this gap as an opportunity to help, and volunteer themselves. EoT is a shoestring operation. They could probably use a hand.

  • 21. ebohlman  |  March 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Details of filings and the like are available electronically wherever you're located. Details of testimony in an ongoing trial are only directly available to people who are physically there and we can only know what they transmit to us. EoT doesn't have any reporters of its own at the trial, and the local news media probably can't afford to have a reporter there every day.

  • 22. Jason  |  March 3, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Actually, PACER use costs money. And staying in Detroit probably costs less than $50 a day.

  • 23. apfpilot  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:29 am

    the first $15.00 on PACER a month is free and someone has been posting the documents on Scribd as well.

  • 24. Pat  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Even though nobody of the team is in the courtroom, there are tons of reports in the media. They could still post a summary once in a while and especially provide some valuable insights about procedures and expectations going forward. Most posts on this site are written without anyone being in the courtrooms:: they still do a great job of commenting and keeping us up to date with the progress. The silence on the michigan trial is quite stunning.

  • 25. Sagesse  |  March 1, 2014 at 5:24 am

    What happens when Utah refuses to recognize the 1,400 same-sex marriages that took place before the Supreme Court granted a stay.

    Utah Attorney General Makes Gay Adoption Harder [Huffington Post]

    "It is more difficult for newly married same-sex couples in Utah to adopt, according to lawyers handling such cases, after the attorney general on Monday began urging judges to reject adoption applications from same-sex couples."

  • 26. Zack12  |  March 1, 2014 at 5:42 am

    So much for not showing proof of animus. The state's AG is singling out a group of people to discriminate against when it comes to adoption.

  • 27. Larry  |  March 1, 2014 at 5:58 am

    I'm a bit confused by the new plaintiffs. How can new plaintiffs join the lawsuit after the district court's ruling? Would that mean that while Kentucky appeals the out-of-state recognition claim to the 6th Circuit, the district court will be sorting out matters of fact/law for the in-state plaintiffs? Or that the appeal will be delayed pending a decision for the intervenors?

    There's a lesson there. Every case against a marriage ban needs to have 1 couple married in another state, and 1 couple who's not married yet. And maybe a 3rd couple with children in case adoption is part of the issue.

  • 28. JayJonson  |  March 1, 2014 at 7:32 am

    The Judge granted a petition to the new plaintiffs based on the fact that he had said that the ban that he declared unconstitutional insofar as it denies recognition to out of state same-sex marriages is probably also unconstitutional in its entirety. In effect, his original decision invited new plaintiffs. It is unusual, but a logical outcome of the strategy the original plaintiffs adopted in challenging only the most vulnerable part of the law.

  • 29. Kyle  |  March 1, 2014 at 8:43 am

    So does this mean that the 6th circuit will take up the issue of whether or not states can ban same sex marriage, which could bring marriage equality to the entire 6th circuit this year?

  • 30. Pat  |  March 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

    We are not there yet as this case is currently only being handled at the district level. Any appeal would then take place at the 6th circuit court of appeals. Since we have already other appeals which are more advanced (especially in the 9th and 10th districts, as well as the 4th), it's unlikely that this would be the first case that seeks a SCOTUS review. But obviously we dont know which cases SCOTUS will agree to review.

  • 31. Pat  |  March 1, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Wouldn't it be sweet if this ends up being THE case that reaches SCOTUS and brings national marriage equality? *Love* v. Beshear would become another landmark civil rights case, after *Loving* v. Virginia.

  • 32. exNoCali  |  March 1, 2014 at 7:50 am


  • 33. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 1, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I kinda like the idea of Olsen and Boies being the ones to get to SCOTUS, but for sentimental reasons, you can't beat the name coincidence. 🙂

  • 34. USA, Kentucky: Marriage E&hellip  |  March 1, 2014 at 7:51 am

    […] Equality on Trial reports: […]

  • 35. Angel  |  March 1, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Please do not complain about the news not getting covered and/or reported…. The people on this site probably have other jobs, and also, depend on our donations to keep this site up and current.

  • 36. Zack12  |  March 2, 2014 at 9:42 am
    Something important to keep in mind during this fight and it's NOT to let our guard down.
    It will be five years since gay marriage became a reality in Iowa and the bigots there STILL want to put a ban on the ballot.
    And as they've stated, the only thing stopping them has been the Democrats in the Senate.
    If you need another reminder of why it's important to vote in every election cycle, there's another one for you.

  • 37. grod  |  March 2, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Zack, on February 28 at the end of the plaintiff's section of the hearing of Debour v Snyder, the Michigan AG's office asserted that the plaintiff', who shoulders the burden, had not made their case, and asked for dismissal. Was that pro forma? The judge took the motion under advisement, but this development is not widely known. Consider another example – Louisiana's Merritt v AG (November 2013). Relying on Baker v Nelson, the district court ruled in favour of the state. This adverse ruling did not surface until February when Texas Judge O. Garcia made her ruling. Both of these developments demonstrate a need for vigilance. Your point is taken.….

  • 38. Tim  |  March 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    This seems to indicate the judge is not ending the trial: Friedman declined to end the trial, which is scheduled to continue through next Thursday.

  • 39. grod  |  March 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for posting. G

  • 40. Sagesse  |  March 2, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    "The state will get its turn on Monday, starting with witness Sherif Girgis, who is author of the 2012 book “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.”

    "His testimony is expected to last half a day….

    "He will be followed by University of Texas socialist Mark Regnerus, who has already been a subject of discussion in earlier testimony."

    From the article above.

    Does anyone know what Sherif Girgis's academic credentials are? He is an associate of NOM founder Robert George, and they have co-published marriage tracts, but I am not aware of any research he's done. I will investigate.

  • 41. Sagesse  |  March 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Well, this ought to be interesting. Sherif Girgis biography:

    "Sherif Girgis was born in Cairo and grew up in Delaware. He majored in philosophy at Princeton, where he won several academic prizes, including the 2007 Dante Prize for the nation’s best undergraduate essay on Dante. His senior thesis on sex ethics won the Princeton prizes for best thesis in ethics and best thesis in philosophy. Upon graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude in 2008, he went on to earn a master’s degree in moral, political and legal philosophy at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He is now pursing his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton and his JD at Yale Law School. His paper “What Is Marriage?”, coauthored with Robert George and Ryan Anderson, was published in December and quickly became Social Science Research Network’s most downloaded paper of the previous year. In 2012, Girgis, George and Anderson published an expanded version of the paper as a book, titled What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. In addition to publishing in more popular contexts, he has given lectures and talks and engaged in debates on marriage and related topics throughout the United States and abroad.

    "Topics of Expertise

    "Marriage and Constitutional Law
    Same Sex Marriage"

    A PhD candidate in philosophy and a law student, who won a prize for an undergraduate essay on Dante, and prizes for his senior thesis on 'sex ethics' (say what?).

    He publishes extensively at Public Discourse, the blog of… wait for it… The Witherspoon Institute, which funded Regnerus's study.

  • 42. Zack12  |  March 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    As bigoted as they are, he and Ryan Anderson are no dummies, hence why George picked them to carry on his "torch" after he's dust.
    I hope our side is on the ball with him as well.
    Discrediting him will go a long way in doing the same to Regnerus.

  • 43. Sagesse  |  March 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    You have to wonder what they were thinking. In terms of 'expertise', Girgis is a child. He's not even a professor. And philosophy…? Wow, Princeton, Yale, Oxford, Rhodes Scholar… this guy must… know stuff. The judge will just… swoon… or something.

  • 44. Zack12  |  March 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    It's all they have.
    I know some people question the judge's motives but so far, he isn't openly hostile like Judge Jones in Nevada was.
    I'll guess we'll have to wait and see but so far, I'm not as worried as some.

  • 45. Mike in Baltimore  |  March 2, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Just because a book, paper, thesis, etc., is 'the most downloaded' means nothing. I'd bet that 'Mein Kampf' several times has been 'the most downloaded' for a specified period of time, but does that mean everyone downloading it believes it in total or in part?

  • 46. JayJonson  |  March 3, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Precisely. Most of the people downloading this trash are people on our side who are finding great relief in discovering how absurd their arguments are. Regnerus's paper has probably been downloaded even more than Girgis's. And for the same reason.

  • 47. Keith  |  March 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

    The "most downloaded" could be they manipulated the "numbers" on the back end of sites these people maintain. Its not hard to do. NOM & associates are gasping their last breaths.

  • 48. David  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:35 am

    "What is Marriage" is the subject of an epic takedown by Rob Tisinai. The whole series is here:

  • 49. sfbob  |  March 3, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I didn't have time to read the whole thing but the parts I read indicate it's well worth reading. Tisinai is dismantling an article written by Robert George, one of the co-founders of NOM. George is an academician of some note and repute (well, perhaps not so much any more). The short version, as much as I can discern based on having read only the first three sections is one that should be fairly obvious, is that George's argumentation is circular. He starts with a definition of marriage which he implies is "the" definition of marriage. Specifically "marriage" is defined by the act of making babies (that's a bit of a simplification but essentially that's it).

    To provide a specific quote:

    "Marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together."

    So any competing definition of marriage is invalid essentially because it doesn't fit George's definition. Unfortunately for Dr. George, as a matter of civil law his definition of marriage is simply not correct, nor does it comport even with the history of marriage as an institution.

  • 50. Zack12  |  March 2, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I guess we will have to wait and see what the judge in this case does.
    I will say that we shouldn't have similar fears about the judge in the PA trial despite him being a Bush Jr. appointee handpicked by Santorum.
    He ruled against the creationists in their trial and given the death threats he got, I imagine he'll be even less sympathetic to arguments by the religious right in this case then he was before.

  • 51. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I had the pleasure of meeting John E. Jones III after he gave a lecture. Very good sense of humor – when I asked him about whether creationism might count as fraud, he said something to the effect of, it's not unconstitutional to be stupid. 😀

  • 52. Zack12  |  March 3, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Yup and he's already ruled that Baker V Nelson means squat to him. I wish he would do a summary judgement but I understand why he's holding a full trial.
    A nice through thrashing of the bigots can't hurt and besides, any ruling he would make would get stayed so you might as well go full bore.

  • 53. ebohlman  |  March 3, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Of course one wonders exactly who PA will get to testify for them once the MI trial is over.

  • 54. Policy and Legal Update &&hellip  |  March 3, 2014 at 7:02 am

    […] KENTUCKY  •  On 28 February 2014, in Timothy Love, et al. v. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (formerly Gregory Bourke & Michael De Leon, et al. v. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear), a federal lawsuit challenging KY’s ban on recognizing same-gender couples married elsewhere, the court denied KY’s request for a 90-day stay of the order requiring KY to recognize same-gender marriages performed elsewhere, and issued a 21-day stay instead.  The recently added plaintiffs (Timothy Love & Laurence Ysunza) seeking marriage within KY had requested an injunction allowing marriages immediately, but the court also denied that request.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source […]

  • 55. music marketing plan outline  |  April 18, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I go to see day-to-day some sites and sites to read posts, but this web site gives
    quality based posts.

  • 56. serve acura components  |  April 19, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back
    to your blog? My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and
    my users would really benefit from some of the
    information you present here. Please let me know if this alright with you.
    Thank you!

  • 57. Equality On TrialKentucky&hellip  |  August 7, 2014 at 12:18 am

    […] district court earlier imposed a 21-day stay on the initial order requiring recognition of marriages from other states. Based on the stay, the […]

  • 58. Equality On TrialKentucky&hellip  |  August 7, 2014 at 12:40 am

    […] judge had initially given state officials 21 days to implement the court’s order requiring marriage recognition for […]

  • 59. Equality On TrialBriefing&hellip  |  August 7, 2014 at 12:59 am

    […] set of plaintiffs in the same court are still in district court, challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The new plaintiffs attempted to get a marriage license in the state, but were denied. The briefing […]

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!