Beshear State Of The Commonwealth

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear

(The Center Square) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear lashed out at a lawsuit filed by two Kentucky families who claim his order unfairly targeted large families. 

Beshear, citing the massive increase in COVID-19 cases, last week imposed new restrictions in an effort to control the spread. One of the measures was a restriction on in-home gatherings to no more than two households and eight people. 

On Monday, Austin and Sara Everson and Nicole and James Duvall joined a federal lawsuit with several religious schools and two individuals who hold political gatherings. They’re seeking an injunction to stop the order initially and for the judge to rule it as unconstitutional. 

The Eversons, Scott County residents, have seven minor children, and the Duvalls, who live in Boone County, have nine. 

The families say Beshear has “criminalized their daily family dinner.” In addition, they say they’ve contacted two law enforcement agencies that told them their officers would go to a home if they knew there was more than eight people there, “they will disperse” the crowd and issue citations.  

“On this, the eve of Thanksgiving, the Governor has mandated that the Eversons and Duvalls select some of their children, one supposes, to eat outside, away from the remainder of the family, even though the family sleeps under the same roof, shares the same household ventilation system, and otherwise lives in close quarters throughout the day,” the complaint states. 

When asked about the case Tuesday, an agitated Beshear said his order does not single out large families. 

“What we're saying is if one family wants to have another family over, it's only two households, two groups that live under the same roof and eight people total in that group,” the governor said. “To suggest we were saying, you can’t have dinner with large family is ridiculous.” 

As written, the governor’s order states: “All indoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of two (2) households and a maximum of eight (8) people. A household is defined as individuals living together in the same home.”  

Beshear is not the only governor to issue such a directive, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended families limit Thanksgiving celebrations to just a single household.  

However, some governors have given themselves some leeway. For example, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo set a cap for no more than 10 people in a house, but he added if more people live in a house, the cap would be the number of people residing there.