Even though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality last year, there are still pockets of wingnuts out there trying to circumvent the law. And Kentucky state Representative, and Republican because … what else? … Joseph M. Fischer is the latest one.
Don’t get him wrong; Joe Fischer is only too happy to allow The Gays to marry but he wants a law that says only opposite-sex couples will be able to enter into “matrimony.”
Fischer says any couple can “marry”, but an individual who is married is considered to be part of a “matrimony” only if the married couple is an opposite sex couple. So, if the couple is a same-sex couple, they are married, but are not considered a “matrimony”.
Asshat say what? And the bill is so long because, once it defines “matrimony,” it proceeds to add the term throughout every single Kentucky statute; for every law that speaks to marriage, duplicate language must be added that defines “matrimony”. Here’s an example:
The bill amends , which addresses the rights of residents of long-term care facilities. Where that law grants “married” residents the right of private spousal visits as well as the right to a shared room with their spouse if they both live in the same facility, Fischer’s bill replaces the word “is married” to “has entered into matrimony” and so the law would only apply to married opposite-sex couples, not married same-sex couples.
Fischer’s bill effectively removes all marital rights from every possible state statute, from parenting rights to insurance rights, for same-sex couples and ensures that only opposite-sex couples have those rights, benefits or privileges.
Separate but equal, or equal protection under the law, which is the reason the Supremes made their ruling last summer.
Now, to be fair, it seems highly unlikely that the separate-and-unequal status of “matrimony” would be legal; Justice Anthony Kennedy made clear in the majority opinion in Obergefell that the language of “marriage” was irrelevant:
“The challenged laws [banning same-sex marriage] burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and they abridge the central precepts of equality.”
Joseph Fischer, a lame Republican who looks like he might want a marriage and not a matrimony if you get what I’m saying, is just making another lame attempt to keep The Gays from marriage and, even though this is Kentucky, and the bill may pass, it will not stand up to the Supremes.