The office of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has filed its defense against a marriage equality lawsuit brought by a local gay couple. But there’s some interesting wording in the defense.
In an 18-page filing in federal court in Louisville, Assistant Attorney General Clay Barkley asked U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Gregory Bourke and Michael De Leon. Barkley wrote that the men lack standing to challenge the law. Bourke and De Leon, who were married in Canada nine years ago, sued in July to force the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries. The men are seeking an injunction to stop state and local officials from enforcing the ban written into the Kentucky constitution in 2004. Much of the state’s filing is boilerplate legal language. But, Barkley said same-sex couples seeking to marry “are just as willing as opposite-sex couples to assume the obligations of marriage” and, if allowed to marry, would “benefit equally from the legal protections and social recognition afforded to married couples.
Seems rather half-hearted, eh? Conway, probably not incidentally, is a Democrat who lost the 2010 Senate race to Rand Paul. During that campaign Conway noted his support for the repeal of DADT, but also stated his opposition to same-sex marriage. A tepid defense of this lawsuit might be his way of “evolving” on the issue, which he’ll have to do if he expects to move up. He can’t run for Attorney General again due to term limits.