Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Shoeless Steve Beshear

Say it ain't so.

The text of yesterday's federal court ruling by Judge John Heyburn in striking down Kentucky's state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage gives credence to a theory we've heard mentioned that Gov. Steve Beshear only went through the motions in appealing the ruling, and did not put a true effort into the appeal.

Many were amused when the state's private lawyers offered up the laughable argument that same-sex marriage needed to be banned because only opposite-sex couples can have children and thus keep up the state's birth rate and economy.

"These arguments are not those of serious people," Heyburn's ruling stated.

If you need a refresher course, here's a brief one. When Heyburn ruled several months ago that the state could not refuse to accept same-sex marriages performed in other states, Attorney General Jack Conway refused to appeal the ruling. In short, he failed to do his sworn duty. Beshear, however, pushed forward an appeal by the state using private counsel, doing his required duty.

No one really believes that Beshear is opposed to same-sex marriage. Many suspected that although Beshear was going through the motions in pursing the appeal, his heart really wasn't in it. He is a Democrat, after all, and Democrats in general support same-sex marriage. That suspicion got stronger when the attorneys put forth that procreation argument. And that argument was what the judge referenced his ruling yesterday on the question of Kentucky performing gay marriages on its own.

To sum it up, Beshear deliberately threw the appeal. He did his duty as required, but he did not make a serious effort. If this was baseball, he'd be Shoeless Joe Jackson and his legal team would be the Chicago Black Sox.

Although Beshear has announced that the state will appeal yesterday's ruling as well, we don't expect a serious or sincere effort. There are all sorts of arguments that could be made in opposition to the redefinition of marriage -- which is the prism through which we view this issue -- or to the state's regulation of who can and cannot engage in certain types of conduct or activities. (You can legally marry without parental permission at age 18, but you have to be 21 to drink a beer to celebrate that marriage?)

Liberals and those who want to redefine marriage to suit their desires are aghast at the state's appeal, saying it's a waste of taxpayer money in what will ultimately be a losing effort. And they're partly right. If the state's contracted attorneys continue to make laughable arguments, it is a waste of money. Not so if they do it earnestly and correctly.

Say it ain't so, indeed.

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