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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fort Thomas Representative Getting Backlash for Filing "MatrimonyFreedom Act"

Rep. Joe Fischer - R, Fort Thomas. LRC. Facebook. 
State Representative, Joe Fischer (R-Fort Thomas, District 68) has found himself in some turmoil after sponsoring two house bills that would draw a legal line in the sand between same-sex marriages and traditional marriages to deny benefits for the former.

The crux of House Bills 571 and 572 comes down to a departure in meaning between the words "marriage" and "matrimony."

House Bill 572, dubbed "The Matrimony Freedom"Act would side-step the Supreme Court ruling granting same sex couples the right to marry by defining same sex couple as "marriage partners." House Bill 571, also filed by Fischer,  would define opposite sex partners as entering "matrimony."

The 454-page bill is extraordinarily long, in part because the word “matrimony” is added throughout all of Kentucky law, except for anywhere that the law outlines a benefit. In that case, the word "matrimony" replaces "marriage."

Fischer's bill, has received backlash after being introduced into the Kentucky House on March 1. From a national headline: A Kentucky Lawmaker’s Hilariously Stupid Attack On Marriage Equality to an op-ed written by The River City News:
"Fischer's laughable and desperate attempt to undermine the nation's highest court all because more people in Kentucky now have the same right to marry that he has, is not the only despicable and transparently hateful legislation to grace the floor of our General Assembly."
"The Matrimony Freedom" Act comes weeks after Senate Bill 5 passed with a 30-8 margin that would create two separate marriage licenses: one for bride and groom and one that would be gender neutral.

Wil Schroder (R-Wilder) was the lone Northern Kentuckian to vote against that bill, bucking the trend of his fellow Northern Kentucky Senators.

Multiple messages to Rep. Joe Fischer have not been returned.

Fischer has filed for reelection this year and will run unopposed in the primary and general election. A staunch defender of pro-life policies, Fischer's most recent op-ed on in 2014 spoke of the three greatest challenges facing Kentucky. He named the heroin epidemic, attracting jobs and fighting federal regulation.

"The Matrimony Freedom" Act has been assigned to the Elections, Constitution Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, where Fischer is the Vice-Chairman.

Other members of that committee are:
Rep. Reginald Meeks (D) [Chair], Rep. Derrick Graham (D) [Vice Chair], Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D) [Vice Chair], Rep. Johnny Bell (D), Rep. Kevin D. Bratcher (R), Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. (R) and Rep. Sannie Overly (D). 

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