Politics

Of the 138 members of the Kentucky General Assembly, 107 have signed a brief in support of Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, which is part of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court today.

The amici curiae, or “friends of the court,” brief is signed by 76 of 100 members of the Democrat-led House and 31 out of 38 members of the Republican-led Senate.

The legislators argue that states have the right to define marriage as being between one man and one woman and that heterosexual married couples are optimal for raising children.

“Raising of children by same-sex couples, who by definition cannot be the two sole biological parents of a child and cannot provide children with a parental authority figure of each gender, presents an alternative structure for child rearing that has not yet proved itself beyond reasonable scientific dispute,” the lawmakers argue in the brief.

The brief is signed by 37 out of 65 Democrats in the legislature—a reminder that Kentucky Democrats often skew socially conservative, even in the Statehouse.

University of Kentucky political science professor Donald Gross said the brief could help Democrats who fear the political perception of being “anti-family values.”

“If you’re a pro-choice, pro-gay rights Democrat, that can be a very significant issue in the general election,” Gross said.

Kentucky’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by 74 percent of voters across the state in 2004.

According to the most recent Bluegrass Poll in March, 57 percent of Kentuckians still oppose gay marriage.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Democrat from Prestonsburg, signed the brief supporting Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban along with Senate Democratic Floor Leader Ray Jones, of Pikeville.

Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat who in 2013 co-sponsored a statewide fairness bill, also signed the brief.

The brief is also signed by 69 out of 73 Republican lawmakers in the legislature.

Republicans Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr of Lexington, Sen. Wil Schroder of Wilder, Sen. Julie Raque-Adams of Louisville and Rep.  David Osborne of Prospect did not sign the brief.

Here’s a list of Democrats whose names aren’t present:

  • Sen. Reginald Thomas, Lexington
  • Sen. Morgan McGarvey, Louisville
  • Sen. Gerald Neal, Louisville
  • Sen. Denise Harper Angel, Louisville
  • Sen. Perry Clark, Louisville
  • Rep. John Tilley, Hopkinsville
  • Rep. David Watkins, Henderson
  • Rep. Brent Yonts, Greenville
  • Rep. Tom Burch, Louisville
  • Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, Louisville
  • Rep. Jim Wayne, Louisville
  • Rep. Jeffrey Donohue, Fairdale
  • Rep. Denver Butler, Louisville
  • Rep. Dennis Horlander, Louisville
  • Rep. Reginald Meeks, Louisville
  • Rep. Darryl Owens, Louisville
  • Rep. Joni Jenkins, Shively
  • Rep. Linda Belcher, Shepherdsville
  • Rep. James Kay, Versailles
  • Rep. Derrick Graham, Frankfort
  • Rep. Arnold Simpson, Covington
  • Rep. Sannie Overly, Paris
  • Rep. Kelly Flood, Lexington
  • Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, Lexington
  • Rep. George Brown, Lexington
  • Rep. Rita Smart, Richmond
  • Rep. Leslie Combs, Pikeville
  • Rep. Tanya Pullin, South Shore
Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.