Politics
7:34 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Idea to Allow Others to Challenge Kentucky Same-Sex Marriage Order Unnecessary, Speaker Says

Greg Stumbo
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says a Republican lawmaker's idea to allow third-parties to appeal a federal judge's order on same-sex marriage wouldn’t require a change in state law.

Sen. Dan Seum, of Louisville, told Kentucky Public Radio that he plans to file a bill that would allow other groups to appeal a decision by U.S. District Judge John Heyburn that the state must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages if Attorney General Jack Conway decides not to.

But Stumbo says that there’s no precedent for such an idea, and that such a bill likely wouldn’t be necessary.

“I’m not saying it can be done, because I’ve never seen it done," says Stumbo, a Democrat. "I don’t any precedent where that type of situation’s been done. But the basic law is, that if you have an interest that is or may be affected adversely, you can petition a court to become a party. And if you’re a party, then you have appellate rights.”

Gov. Steve Beshear says such talk is “premature,” and that he and Conway will make a decision on whether to appeal “soon.”

On Friday afternoon, Heyburn stayed until March 20 his order that Kentucky must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. The state attorney general's office argued that officials needed time to figure out how to implement the order, and whether to appeal.

Conway has 30 days from Thursday to appeal.