Senate Conservatives Fund is out with a new radio ad in Kentucky attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for supporting the judge who ruled last week that Kentucky must recognize same sex marriages performed legally out-of-state.
Judge John Heyburn II, the federal judge for the United States District Court of the Western District of Kentucky, made the ruling last week, saying the laws that prohibit recognition of such marriages “violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and they are void and unenforceable.” On Friday, he put a hold on his own order, giving the state until March 20 to make the necessary arrangements to comply.
SCF is backing McConnell’s primary opponent, businessman Matt Bevin. In the radio ad, a man and woman have a conversation blame the ruling on McConnell for recommending Heyburn during his confirmation hearings in 1992, saying it was “political cronyism” that led McConnell to recommend him in the first place.
“McConnell should admit right now that recommending Judge Heyburn was a mistake. He knew this judge wasn’t a conservative and promoted him anyway. Now we’re stuck with gay marriage,” says the man in the ad.
The ad also attacks Heyburn and McConnell for a 1998 ruling Heyburn made overturning the state’s anti-abortion law. Heyburn called the decision a “wrenching one,” but said the law was “unconstitutional and invalid” because its definition of banned procedures was too broad and it provided no exception for abortions in cases necessary to save the life of the mother, according to an Associated Press article from the time.
“Senator McConnell should admit that recommending Judge Heyburn was a mistake that hurt Kentucky,” echoed SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins. “McConnell knew Judge Heyburn was not a conservative, but he promoted him anyway. Now Judge Heyburn is forcing his liberal views on Kentucky.”
McConnell’s campaign pushed back on the ad, suggesting SCF was unprofessional.
“This is the kind of ad voters expect to hear from people who are days away from boxing up their personal effects and auctioning off the remaining printer cartridges in the office,” said McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore. “It is so absurd and pathetic that they ought to stop troubling radio listeners with the obligation of switching stations and admit they have no justification to attack Senator McConnell.”
After the ruling last week, Bevin said that the logic for supporting gay marriages could easily support people marrying their own children.
“If it’s alright to have same-sex marriages, why not define a marriage — because at the end of the day a lot of this ends up being taxes and who can visit who in the hospital and there’s other repercussions and things that come with this — so a person may want to define themselves as being married to one of their children so that they could then in fact pass on certain things to that child financially and otherwise?” he said, The Washington Post reported.
A spokesman for Bevin said it was a “gross misrepresentation” to say Bevin was likening same-sex marriage and incest.