America

Federal Judge Rules Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages

Greg Bourke, front, and his partner Michael Deleon speak to reporters following the announcement from U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn striking down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban. i i

Greg Bourke, front, and his partner Michael Deleon speak to reporters following the announcement from U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn striking down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban. Timothy D. Easley/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Timothy D. Easley/AP
Greg Bourke, front, and his partner Michael Deleon speak to reporters following the announcement from U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn striking down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban.

Greg Bourke, front, and his partner Michael Deleon speak to reporters following the announcement from U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn striking down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban.

Timothy D. Easley/AP

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn ruled on Thursday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Heyburn's decision strikes "down portions of a 1998 state law and a 2004 state constitutional amendment defining marriage in Kentucky as between one man and one woman, and that prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in other states."

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that earlier today state Attorney General Jack Conway asked Heyburn to put a stay on his ruling, while his office decides whether to appeal the decision.

The paper adds:

"The motion suggests that Conway is at least considering joining six other state attorneys general who have decided not to appeal rulings throwing out marriage bans. Those officials, all Democrats, said the laws are discriminatory and violate the right to equal protection under the law.

"Conway has said he is legally bound to defend Kentucky statutes and its marriage amendment, but U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. declared Monday that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws they believe are discriminatory."

The news comes a day after another federal judge invalidated Texas' ban on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, however, placed his decision on hold, anticipating an appeal by the state.

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