Supreme Court ruling a victory for same sex couples, bans remain at state level
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Same sex couples and gay marriage supporters rallied in Jefferson Square in favor of the U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Justices overturned the Defense of Marriage Act citing the law "unconstitutional." The 1996 law blocked federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
The law determined who is covered by more than 1,100 federal laws, programs and benefits, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave.
In another case, the Supreme Court cleared way for same-sex marriage in California, but it does not affect same sex marriage in other states like Indiana and Kentucky.
In Indiana, marriage between same sex partners is banned. However, House Speaker Brian Bosma indicated Wednesday he's preparing a bill to ban gay marriage in the state's constitution.
However, Kentucky is a step ahead and has already passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and woman.
The amendment means couples like Beth and Michele Hager Harrison-Prado's marriage in Washington, D.C. is still second-class. They'll be covered by federal laws, but they won't be eligible for marriage benefits in Kentucky .
"Today is a historic day. I came out a long time ago. I never thought this day would come," Beth Hager Harrison-Prado said. "Not only has this come to pass legally at the federal level, but I'm legally married to the woman of my life that I love and that's an amazing gift."
It's a debate U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, communicated and clarified after previous statements were taken out of context.
"I think if we leave it at the state level there will be room to disagree but it will be within certain parameters. I'm not suggesting polygamy and I think it will be human and human, not human and animal as some have suggested I said," Sen. Paul said. Previously, the senator stated on a national radio broadcast that the rulings are "a conundrum. If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further, does it have to be humans, you know?"
The Family Foundation of Kentucky called the rulings a defeat for those trying to redefine marriage. Spokesperson Martin Cothran wrote in a new release, "The bottom line for Kentuckians is that Kentucky's Marriage Amendment is left intact, which was passed with more votes in favor than votes on both sides of any previous Kentucky constitutional amendment."
Kentucky voters amended the state constitution in 2004 to say that "only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage."
Louisville-based Fairness Campaign staffers vowed to overturn Kentucky's constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage during a rally Wednesday.