Earlier this week, I announced that I would not appeal U.S. District Judge John Heyburn’s recent ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. As your Attorney General, I took an oath to defend and uphold both the Constitution of this Commonwealth and the Constitution of the United States. The U.S. Constitution is designed to protect everyone’s rights, both the majority and the minority groups.
From a constitutional perspective, Judge Heyburn got it right. By defending this case, I came to the conclusion that I would be defending discrimination. That is something I simply will not do. My decision is one I feel very strongly about, and it is a decision that I can be proud of. In the end, this is about putting people over politics, and I am confident I am on the right side of history. To view my full statement regarding my decision, visit my YouTube page.
On Wednesday, I joined thousands of Kentuckians on Capitol Avenue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights March on Frankfort. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come over the past 50 years on this issue. Still, we must continue our fight for equal justice under the law. Photos from the event are available on my Facebook page.
I also had the great opportunity this week to unveil ICareAboutKids.ky.gov, a newly designed website created for the Child Victims’ Trust Fund. The CVTF provides necessary funding to regional and statewide child sexual abuse prevention programs. The user-friendly website puts critical resources at users’ fingertips, and it allows Kentuckians to support the fund with just a few clicks of the mouse. Statistics show that 1 in 10 children in the U.S. will be sexually abused before they turn 18. By increasing awareness about the CVTF through the I Care About Kids website, we can better educate Kentuckians about this serious issue. I encourage you to visit ICareAboutKids.ky.gov to learn more about how you can help us fund programs that are truly making a difference. Kentucky children are at risk and prevention is the key to keeping them safe.
Finally, stopping the cycle of addiction that is plaguing our Commonwealth is the focus of my latest column. The Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee, which I chair, is currently accepting proposals on how to best utilize approximately $20 million allocated for KY Kids Recovery, a grant program that will fund comprehensive juvenile substance abuse treatment programs. Existing providers, new providers, community partnerships and non-profits across the Commonwealth are eligible to submit ideas, and the deadline to do is March 31. Please spread the word about KY Kids Recovery and help me fight substance abuse in our communities. Visit kykidsrecovery.ky.gov to learn more about the grant program and to download the Request for Information.