Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Federal Judge: Kentucky Must Recognize Legal Gay Marriages from Other States!

Kentucky has become the latest state to advance the rights of married same-sex couples. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled today that Kentucky doesn't have to issue marriage licenses to gay or lesbian couples -- but the state does have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states! Check this out:
The decision in the socially conservative state comes against the backdrop of similar rulings or actions in states around the country where same-sex couples have long fought for the right to marry. The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004 and included the out-of-state clause.

The decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

The ruling only requires Kentucky to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed in other states or countries. It does not deal with the question of whether the state can be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as that issue wasn't brought up in the four lawsuits that triggered the ruling.

Heyburn noted that recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings and his opinion in the Kentucky case "suggest a possible result to that question."
The usual suspects -- mainly religious and social conservatives -- are predictably upset by this ruling.

I assume that this court decision will be appealed soon.

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