Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announces run for governor

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who announced in March he would not defend his state’s gay marriage ban in an appeal of a federal court’s ruling, has announced he will run for office of governor in 2015.

In an interview with the AP, Conway said he isn’t concerned that his pro-equality stance may hurt his chances in the conservative state. As public opinion continues to shift in favor of gay marriage, Conway said Kentucky voters will tire of rehashing the debate come November 2015.

“I think in the fall of 2015 that will not be the big issue,” he said. “I think the voters will be more interested in building Kentucky’s future than in reliving all of that.”

Conway’s refusal to defend the ban led to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear hiring private attorneys to appeal the gay marriage ruling.

And speaking of those private attorneys…

A brief filed by the attorneys for Gov. Beshear contends that the state has a legitimate interest in preserving “man-woman” marriage, because only that union can result in procreation. And procreation, the state argues, is essential to maintaining a stable birth rate; if that declined, the state would be placed in economic peril.

The “procreation” argument was directly addressed in the February ruling from a district judge that found Kentucky’s existing marriage laws unconstitutional.

“Kentucky does not require proof of procreative ability to have an out-of-state marriage recognized,” wrote U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn in his February ruling, which this latest brief looks to appeal. “The exclusion of same-sex couples on procreation grounds makes just as little sense as excluding post-menopausal [heterosexual] couples or infertile couples on procreation grounds.”