Bevin uses marriage ruling to criticize Conway

Jack Conway (left) and Matt Bevin (right)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After the Supreme Court ruled all 50 states must allow same-sex marriages, Republican Matt Bevin used the decision to criticize Attorney General Jack Conway as the two men battle to be the next Kentucky governor.

Bevin, who is the Republican nominee in the Kentucky governor's race, said he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision and says "activist judges" are ignoring both the will of the people and the Constitutional principle of states' rights.

"When the definition of marriage was put on the ballot 10 years ago, 74 percent of Kentuckians made it clear that they supported traditional marriage. Since that time, however, activist judges have chosen to ignore the will of the people, and to ignore the Constitutional principle of state's rights," said Bevin.

He called the ruling "regrettable" and criticized the Democratic nominee in the governor's race and current attorney general for not pursuing the state's appeal to the Supreme Court.

"Today's regrettable ruling is also the result of elected officials failing to defend the law," Bevin said. "When Kentucky's marriage law was under attack by the courts, our own attorney general, Jack Conway, abandoned his oath of office, and chose not to defend it."

Conway has said that he did not pursue the appeal because he felt the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

"As attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I did my duty and defended Kentucky's constitutional amendment. When Judge Heyburn ruled the amendment was unconstitutional, I agreed with his legal analysis and used the discretion given to me by statute to inform Gov. Beshear and the citizens of the Commonwealth that I would not waste the scarce resources of this office pursuing a costly appeal that would not be successful," Conway said. "As the Court profoundly stated in its opinion regarding the plaintiffs, 'They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.'"

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