- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 28, 2005

A Kentucky judge dismissed a challenge to the state’s voter-passed marriage amendment, saying it was properly written and presented to voters.

In a decision issued Thursday, Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Roger L. Crittenden agreed with the state that the Kentucky marriage amendment was based on a single subject and correctly presented to voters.

Three Kentucky citizens, supported by the homosexual rights group Kentucky Fairness Alliance, challenged the amendment, saying it illegally addressed more than one subject and used “vague” and “ambiguous” language.

The amendment says that “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be a marriage in Kentucky, and that a legal status identical to or similar to marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

A reasonable voter, the plaintiffs said, would not be able to understand whether the proposed amendment would affect “civil unions” and “domestic partnerships.”

State officials argued that the amendment was on a single subject — marriage — and was presented verbatim to voters so there would be no misunderstanding about it.

The judge also rejected a third argument from the plaintiffs that the amendment didn’t describe “the impact” it would have on such things as inheritance rights, funeral arrangements and hospital visitations.

Amendment proposals don’t have to articulate their “possible consequences,” Judge Crittenden said.

It was not clear last week whether the plaintiffs would appeal.

Separately, on Friday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court dismissed a second request to put a temporary hold on the so-called Goodridge decision, which legalized same-sex “marriages” in that state as of May 2004.

C. Joseph Doyle, a leader of the Catholic Action League, had argued last year before Justice Roderick Ireland that the court should suspend its ruling until the public had a chance to vote on the matter, possibly in 2006. Justice Ireland denied the request.

This year, Mr. Doyle made the same request before the full court. The high court replied Friday that Justice Ireland’s decision was correct and that “nothing has transpired in the interim that materially changes the situation or which warrants the truly extraordinary measures sought now.”

Michele Granda, a lawyer with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, applauded the ruling. “Goodridge is the law of the commonwealth and nothing has happened to change that,” she said.

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