Tea Party Tantrum Over Ky. Marriage Ruling
Unsurprisingly, Wednesday's ruling by Federal Judge John G. Heyburn II that concluded that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states on the grounds that part of the state ban on same-sex marriage treated "gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them" is not sitting well with most right wing Christian and Tea Party conservatives.
In a 23-page ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Heyburn II, who was appointed by George H. W. Bush, found that the government may define marriage and attach benefits to it, but cannot "impose a traditional or faith-based limitation" without a sufficient justification for it.
A press release issued by staunch marriage equality foe Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reads:
"This ruling is another example of the deep betrayal of a judicial system infected with activist judges who are legislating from the bench. If these judges want to change duly enacted laws passed by the people and their representatives, they should resign their life-time appointments to the bench and run for the state legislature or Congress. Judge Heyburn is elevating his own ideology over that of three-quarters of Kentucky voters who voted to preserve marriage in their constitution as it has always been defined.
Perkins further said:
"This ruling comes at a time when the consequences of marriage redefinition are mounting. Increasingly, Americans are being forced to finance and celebrate unions that not only step on free speech and religious liberty but also deny children a mom and a dad. Rather than live-and-let-live, this court by redefining marriage will create a level of inequality that has never been seen in our country as people are forced to suppress or violate the basic teachings of their faith,"
Blogging for the Tea Party media outlet Madison Project, Daniel Horowitz continued to lament the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act and eventually blamed "establishment Republicans" saying:
"Part of the purpose of DOMA was to protect states that support traditional marriage from the other states who want to impose their views on them.
Now, we are seeing a torrent of unelected judges force "gay marriage" on red states. The latest example is Judge John G. Heyburn II of the Western District of Kentucky who just ruled that Kentucky must recognize all different forms of marriage from other states. In doing so, he noted that the citizens of Kentucky violated the U.S Constitution by defining marriage as it has been since the founding."
Horowitz then put the blame on Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, saying:
"Judge Heyburn was nominated to the bench in 1991 by President George Bush. But his recommendation came from Senator Mitch McConnell who used him as a special counsel while serving as Judge Executive of Jefferson County in the early '80s. " Thanks to McConnell, Kentucky is being subjected to the tyranny of the liberal agenda without a vote."
TPM reports that Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin, who is challenging McConnell in the Kentucky GOP primary, seized this opportunity to stir up his right wing anti-gay base saying:
"I'm deeply disappointed in Judge Heyburn's decision to overturn Kentucky's right to determine the definition of marriage within its own borders. This type of judicial activism hurts America's democratic process.
It is no surprise that Judge Heyburn was Mitch McConnell's general counsel and McConnell recommended him for the federal bench. Kentucky deserves better."