Judge, gay-marriage foe clash over rulings

In an extraordinary public event Thursday before hundreds of lawyers, the federal judge who threw out Kentucky's ban on gay marriage debated the conservative activist who put it on the ballot.

With Senior U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn sitting by his side, the Family Foundation of Kentucky's Martin Cothran denounced "unelected judges" who have ignored "all of recorded history" and hid "moral judgments in procedure" as they threw out gay-marriage bans enacted by state legislatures and the voters. Heyburn responded by giving Cothran a history and civics lesson: The Founding Fathers assigned the federal judiciary the duty of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority, he said, and specifically decided they shouldn't be elected.

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