Gay Louisville Couple Crossed State Lines to Wed after being Denied License in Kentucky

The Fairness Coalition’s Faith Leaders for Fairness are sponsoring an action to highlight the invisible line between states that determines whether a same gender couple has the right to marry. Monday, July 28, 8:30AM at the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office in Louisville, a same gender couple will apply for a marriage license. If the couple is denied, they will then travel more than three hours by bus to Metropolis, IL where they will be legally married on the shores of the Ohio River.

Monday's action is a joint project of Faith Leaders for Fairness and the Campaign for Southern Equality with support from the Fairness Campaign and the ACLU of Kentucky.

See photos from Sarah and Kristy's wedding day here.

“As Kentucky faith leaders, we honor the courageous souls who have taken similar journeys in the past by calling attention to the continued discrimination of same-sex couples in Kentucky and other states,” said Reverend Bojangles Blanchard.

Since 2004, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has constitutionally excluded same gender couples from marriage, denying thousands of Kentucky families the safety, security, and equal treatment they deserve. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway refused to defend the Commonwealth’s discriminatory marriage ban, and District Judge John G. Heyburn II has twice ruled (February 12, 2014, Bourke v. Beshear; July 1, 2014, Love v. Beshear) that the ban “violates the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.” The constitutionality of gay marriage bans in Kentucky and three other states will be examined by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments are scheduled for August 6.

“You shouldn’t have to leave your hometown to marry the person you love,” said Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. “And yet, this is the reality that same gender couples like Sarah and Kristy face. It is time for all couples to be treated equally in Kentucky and across the South, because your zip code should not determine your rights, dignity or value as a human being.”

Monday’s action in Louisville is one of at least five more similar events across the South this summer that are part of the WE DO Campaign, including actions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Since its inception, more than 115 couples from across seven Southern states have applied for marriage licenses in their hometowns as part of the WE DO Campaign.