2 couples want to join lawsuit, get married in Commonwealth


by Claudia Coffey/AP


Posted on February 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 14 at 7:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s another big legal move for marriage equality in Kentucky.

Attorneys are asking for a federal judge in Louisville to allow two additional couples to join a recent lawsuit so they can get married in the Commonwealth.

This comes after that judge ruled Kentucky has to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

"We just want to take time to get married and be productive citizens," Larry Ysunza, the plaintiff, said.

Larry Ysunza, along with three others is asking Judge John Heyburn to join a lawsuit that has already broke marriage equality barriers.

On Wednesday Judge Heyburn issued an opinion that strikes down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban. Essentially he says that same-sex marriages performed in other states must be recognized in Kentucky. Ysunza and l tried to get a marriage license on Wednesday, Feb. 12, but were turned away. Friday's legal action could change that.

"We have asked the judge to intervene with the hopes that ultimately the order will force the state to not only acknowledge the valid out of state marriages but direct the county clerks across the state to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple that apply," Attorney Laura Landenwich said.

The Kentucky opinion on marriage quality has opened the flood gates on bans in other states.

In Indiana the Senate decision on Thursday, Feb. 13, effectively ended the chances that an amendment will be put to voters before 2016. Indiana law requires proposed constitutional amendments to pass consecutive sessions of the Legislature in the same form twice before going to voters.

"We see there is a trend in the overall United States constitution in granting more rights and not restricting more rights." Chris Hartman, with the Fairness Campaign, said. 

The Kentucky Baptist Convention has said it’s disappointed with this week’s developments.

"Look at things from a biblical world view, a marriage between a man and a woman and the 2004 amendment is consistent with the biblical view," Curtis Woods, with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said.