SB 221: Senate Republicans ask for “standing” in the marriage case in order to defend the will of the people in court.
With the Feb. 12 decision by Federal Judge John G. Heyburn II to overturn half of the 2004 Marriage Protection Amendment and with his decision on Feb. 28 to consider overturning the other half of the law, the State Senate has introduced a “standing” bill that would allow members of the General Assembly to defend that law in court. At press time, the confusion generated by Attorney General Jack Conway’s and Gov. Steve Beshear’s apparent differences still had not abated. Their lack of clarity and indecisiveness with the judge up to this point is suspect.
The concerns that SB 221 addresses are confirmed further given the fact that Conway and Beshear submitted only 10 pages of briefing in the defense of marriage in the first place. In contrast, the judge’s decision itself was 23 pages, the amicus brief filed by The Family Foundation was 28 pages, and the plaintiffs’ brief was 31 pages.
These circumstances and the ongoing executive branch unclarity indicate a half-hearted attempt to appear that they are upholding their respective oaths to defend the state constitution, but many are concluding that it’s just another pair of Democrat leaders in office who are unwilling to do the people’s business when it comes to defending marriage.
“Conway had known about a possible need to appeal since July 26, 2013, when the case was begun,” said Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation. “Why has he only now confessed his ambivalence for the law?”