A federal judge has signed an order directing officials in Kentucky to immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II on Thursday issued a final order throwing out part of the state's ban on gay marriages. The order makes official his Feb. 12 ruling that Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages treated "gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them."
The order means same-sex couples may change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky. The order doesn't affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Kentucky's attorney general has asked for a delay, which hasn't been ruled upon.
Attorneys for gay couples seeking formal recognition of their out-of-state marriages say a federal judge is expected to sign a final order in the case by the end of the week.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II earlier this month threw part of the state's ban on gay marriages. The ruling only applies to couples married in other states or countries.
A final order would mean same-sex couples may change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky. But Heyburn's ruling doesn't affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Kentucky attorney general's office has not sought to delay the ruling as of Wednesday afternoon.
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, striking down part of the state ban.
In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that Kentucky's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a "way that demeans them." The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004. The out-of-state clause was part of it.
The decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.
Heyburn did not rule on whether the state could be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
Indiana’s House and Senate Democratic leaders are asking their Republican counterparts to avoid a gay marriage battle during the 2014 session.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and Senate Minority Tim Lanane said a fight on the highly charged issue would keep lawmakers from addressing more important matters during their upcoming session. Lawmakers returned Tuesday to the Capitol for a formal, one-day meeting before they begin the 2014 session in January.
Social conservative groups are pushing lawmakers to write the state’s ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. If they win passage during the session, the issue would go to voters next November.
Opponents of the amendment who include members of the business and higher education communities argue that it will paint Indiana as an unfriendly state.
A Kentucky judge is seeking input from the state attorney general's office before deciding whether a law exempting spouses from testifying against each other applies to two women in a civil union from Vermont.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson says the attorney general's office should be given a chance to respond.
The Courier-Journal reports the case has become the first legal test in the state over forcing same-sex partners to testify against each other.
Prosecutors say Geneva Case heard her spouse, Bobbie Joe Clary, admit to killing a man two years ago and saw her clean blood out of the man's van and abandon it in Southern Indiana. Case has told the prosecution she will not testify, invoking the "Husband-Wife" privilege under state law, according to court records.
Another barrier to recognition of same-sex marriage appears to have fallen. On Monday a federal judge ordered a law firm to pay survivor's benefits to the widow in a same-sex marriage, and on Tuesday the law firm said it was happy to comply and would not appeal.
The decision is the latest in a series of court rulings equalizing benefits for legally married same-sex couples in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
A Louisville couple has filed a challenge to Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages.
They're asking a federal judge to require the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries.
Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon filed suit Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Louisville. The issue of same sex marriages and rights has been a hot topic at rallies in Louisville and across the country.
Burke and Deleon are seeking an injunction to stop state and local officials from enforcing the ban written into the Kentucky constitution in 2004.
The suit is the first such challenge in the state since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
That's a federal law blocking married same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual spouses.
A representative of the Lexington-based Family Foundation says he was turned away from a meeting to discuss the fate of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain on the University of Louisville campus. Policy analyst Andrew Walker says he was told the meeting was private and his presence would not be allowed. The group has criticized recent suggestions that the University of Louisville could expel a business from its campus because a company executive spoke against gay marriage.