News (USA)

Federal judge issues order requiring Ky. to recognize same-sex marriages

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge has issued an order requiring the state of Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn on Thursday made final a ruling issued earlier this month in which he found that Kentucky’s marriage amendment and statutes violate the right to equal protection under the law.

“Those laws … are void and unenforceable,” he said in a one page order.

Earlier Thursday, Attorney General Jack Conway asked Heyburn to stay enforcement of his ruling while the state considers whether it will appeal, but Heyburn did not address that motion and for now his ruling goes into effect.

Earlier this month, Heyburn concluded that the ban, which has been in place since 2004, treated “gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”

Under the ruling, married same-sex couples living in Kentucky would be allowed change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits available to married couples in the state.

Heyburn’s ruling doesn’t affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Developing story, check back for updates.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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