News (USA)

Ky. governor hires private law firm to defend same-sex marriage ban

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed a $100,000 contract with a private law firm from Ashland to represent him in appealing a judge’s decision allowing state recognition of same-sex marriages.

Gov. Steve Beshear (D-Ky.)
Gov. Steve Beshear (D-Ky.)

Beshear, a Democrat, announced Thursday that the state has signed a contract with the firm of VanAntwerp, Monge, Jones, Edwards & McCann. The 11-member practice also has an office in Frankfort.

The attorneys will handle Beshear’s appeal of U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn’s decision to overturn parts of a 2004 state constitutional amendment that barred recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.

Unless a federal appeals court steps in and halts the ruling, 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.

Attorney General Jack Conway said March 4 he would not defend the ban: “I would be defending discrimination. That I will not do.”

Follow this case: Bourke v. Beshear.

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