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Judge considers whether to issue stay in Ky. same-sex marriage ruling

Monday, March 17, 2014
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge is weighing whether to allow his order requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries or put the issue on hold pending an appeal by Gov. Steve Beshear.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II on Monday heard brief arguments from attorneys for the governor as well as lawyers for the couples seeking to attain the legal rights of married couples in Kentucky.

Heyburn did not indicate when he would issue a decision.

If Heyburn does not issue a stay to his Feb. 12 order and an appeals court does not step in, the order will become law on Friday.

Heyburn issued a Feb. 12 opinion that Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages violated the Constitution’s equal-protection clause because it treated “gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”

If the ruling stands, the state will have to start allowing same-sex couples to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky.

Beshear plans to ask the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday to take up the case.

Follow this case: Bourke v. Beshear.

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