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Ky. couple challenges ban on same-sex marriage

Jul. 27, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Louisville couple on Friday challenged Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages, saying the state isn’t treating them and other same-sex couples on equal footing with other married couples.

Gregory Bourke and Michael De Leon, who were married in Canada nine years ago, are asking U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn Ii to require Kentucky to recognize valid unions from other states and countries.

“There’s no reason why we should be second-class citizens,” De Leon said Friday afternoon. “We should be at the table with everybody else.”

The men are seeking an injunction to stop state and local officials from enforcing the ban written into the Kentucky constitution in 2004. The suit is the first such challenge in Kentucky since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The act had blocked married same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual spouses.

Bourke, a 55-year-old applications consultant at Humana, and Deleon, a 55-year-old database administrator at General Electric, were married in at Niagara Falls in Canada, in 2004.

Both men said the recent decision by the Supreme Court proved to be the impetus to challenge Kentucky’s ban.

“We feel like victims of discrimination,” Bourke said. “That’s what this lawsuit is about, not being treated equally under the law.”