Four states––Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee––are arguing before the Supreme Court about their bans on gay marriage. But Kentucky’s brief in particular contains an interesting argument about why a ban on gay marriage does not “discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Lawyers for Governor Steve Beshear wrote up the brief to the Supreme Court days ago, and this is why [PDF], to them, they’re not discriminating by banning gay marriage:
Kentucky’s marriage laws treat homosexuals and heterosexuals the same and are facially neutral. Men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are free to marry persons of the opposite sex under Kentucky law, and men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot marry persons of the same sex under Kentucky law.
That’s right, it’s not discriminatory because the ban on gay marriage applies to both gay and straight people.
A lawyer for the gay couples challenging the state ban offered this response:
“Kentucky is in essence saying that our clients are precluded from marriage entirely, unless they change their sexual orientation… It’s akin to passing a law banning all Catholic churches within city limits, and then saying it’s not discriminatory because you can still go to a Baptist church.”
[image via Shutterstock]
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