Despite having no impact on the Supreme Court’s recent decision granting marriage equality to same sex couples, the majority of the Logan County Fiscal Court stood firm on their definition of marriage by passing a resolution affirming “religious freedom and the timeless definition of marriage between one man and one woman” Tuesday.
Magistrate Jo Orange introduced the resolution, which was drafted by the Commonwealth Policy Center (a nonpartisan public policy group) after five supreme court justices made their ruling.
Orange made the motion to pass the resolution at the Tuesday, July 28 meeting of the fiscal court. Her motion was seconded by magistrate Dickie Carter and passed with a four to three vote. Magistrates Drexel Johnson and Thomas Bouldin voted with Orange and Carter, while magistrates Jack Crossely and Barry Joe Wright, along with Judge Executive Logan Chick voted against.
“Richard Nelson (director of the Commonwealth Policy Center) was on WRUS Feedback and he himself stated the Supreme Court supersedes the state of Kentucky,” said Crossley. “I believe man and woman should be married and I don’t believe in same sex marriage, but I believe in abiding by the law and that is why I cannot vote for this.”
Carter told the court this resolution just tells that the fiscal court doesn’t believe in what the Supreme Court did.
“Several years ago the state voted on what was a marriage and now five people (judges) say we are wrong for doing that. I cannot understand that,” said Carter.
After voting against the resolution, Judge Chick made a statement as to why he voted the way he did.
“I have been thinking about this for a while,” said Chick. “Even though I believe in one thing, I don’t believe it’s proper to force that belief on other people.”
Ernie Ezell addressed the court during the citizen participation portion of the meeting disagreeing with the resolution.
“I take offense to this proposed resolution. I cannot give it any significant respect. In my opinion it comes from an extremely bias network of people who are more conservative then myself. I cannot support it. It’s hard to separate what you feel and what you have been taught and what the law says. This is not going to accomplish anything.”
Full text of the resolution:
A Resolution to Affirm Religious Freedom
and the Timeless Definition of Marriage
WHEREAS, on June 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court by a 5-4 ruling, struck down Kentucky’s Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman in the case Obergefell v Hodges; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Constitution is silent on the definition of marriage; and
WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment reserves the rights of the states the power and authority not delegated to the federal government; and
WHEREAS, in 2004, 118 state legislators voted to amend Kentucky’s state constitution to say “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”; and
WHEREAS, 1,222,125 voters or nearly 75 percent of Kentuckians ratified the state constitutional amendment on November 2, 2004;
WHEREAS, Kentucky along with 30 other states amended their constitutions to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
WHEREAS, 106 Kentucky legislators signed onto a friend of the court brief encouraging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Commonwealth’s duly enacted marriage law; and
WHEREAS, marriage is the most basic human relationship bringing one man and one woman together into a lifelong covenantal union; and
WHEREAS, anthropology supports man/woman marriage by recognizing that men and women are different and complementary; and
WHEREAS, biology affirms man/woman marriage through the truth that human reproduction depends upon the joining of a man and woman; and
WHEREAS, sociology affirms that the children produced by the union of male and female do best when they are raised by both their biological mother and biological father; and
WHEREAS, the major religions including orthodox Judaism, Christianity and Islam affirm that marriage is between one man and one woman; and
WHEREAS, social science affirms that children statistically do better in every category when raised in married two-parent heterosexual households; and
WHEREAS, there is not a single peer reviewed credible scientific study measured longitudinally that indicates that children do better under same-sex parenting; and
WHEREAS, stable heterosexual marriages are in the government’s best interest and best protection against government dependency; and
WHEREAS, the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman applies throughout all of time, to all cultures and preceded civil government;
WHEREAS, the Kentucky Bill of Rights says in Section 5: “… No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.”
WHEREAS, the Kentucky legislature enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2013 which says the “government shall not substantially burden a person’s freedom of religion.” If there is another way to carry out a compelling government interest, it must be done in the “least restrictive means to further that interest”; and
WHEREAS, many Kentuckians hold a sincerely held religious belief that they should not be forced to affirm or participate in same-sex marriage in any way; and
WHEREAS, many Kentucky business owners hold a sincere religious conviction that materially participating in a same-sex wedding ceremony, celebration, or reception, through their goods and services is sacrilegious, and therefore a violation of their conscience or sincerely held religious beliefs; and
WHEREAS, while government may recognize what is written into the laws of nature regarding marriage, it cannot rightly redefine, expand or alter the definition; and
WHEREAS, the recent imposition of same sex marriage by the United States Supreme Court poses potential infringements on the inalienable right of religious liberty; and
Therefore, be it resolved: We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman in a lifelong monogamous covenantal union; and
We affirm religious freedom is an inalienable right and guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; and
We, respect the rights of individual conscience as guaranteed in Article 5 of the Kentucky Bill of Rights; and
We acknowledge that it is neither wise nor safe for government to compel its citizens to violate their conscience; and
We support the principle of religious freedom in that people have an inherent right to conduct their public lives according to their religious convictions.
To contact Chris Cooper, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 270-726-8394.