Out-of-State Gay Marriages Now Recognized in Kentucky

Kentucky has now received the final order from a federal judge that out-of-state gay marriages be recognized in the state, the Courier Journal reports:

KentuckyU.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn today 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 today, Attorney General Jack Conway’s office asked Heyburn to stay enforcement of his ruling, but Heyburn did not address that motion and for now his ruling goes into effect.

Attorney Dan Canon, a lawyer for the four gay and lesbian couples who won the case, said: “We are cautiously optimistic. The order has been granted without qualification and without a stay.”

Buzzfeed adds:

Additionally, Heyburn on Thursday granted a request to allow additional couples seeking full marriage rights — as opposed to recognition of marriages conducted elsewhere — to intervene in the case.


  1. Jason Macbride says

    Which closeted right wing bloviator will be the first to make an ass of themselves declaring that this is the end of the world? Again.

  2. says

    Justice Heyburn has been incredibly even handed in how he’s handled this. The language in his ruling obviously did support Kentucky couples that wanted to challenge the other part of the ban. I don’t expect the intervenors to have long to wait on a verdict either.

    He’s right here to not grant a stay. Real lives are being impacted by a law that no one sensible would defend. You’re legally married in one state but cross the border and now you’re not. He sees it for just exactly how punitive and ridiculous it really is.

    Congratulations Kentucky.

  3. Bill says

    This kind of an outcome is apparently now precluded in the case pending in U.S. district court in WV because Lambda Legal ignored the judge’s request to amend the complaint to add as plaintiffs a WV couple who has been married outside of WV. I question the wisdom of Lambda Legal’s failure to act on this issue.

  4. Paducah Joe says

    With Illinois marriage equality taking effect on June 1, it will soon be possible for Kentucky couples that leave west of I-65 to easily drive there, marry and return home the same day – knowing that their marriage is legal! Hooray!

  5. Francis says

    Judge Heyburn is pretty clearly moving full steam ahead on equality regarding striking down the marriage ban entirely in Kentucky and not applying a stay on his ruling, either. Not time yet to celebrate, however, because Kentucky’s AG is asking for a stay and indications are that he’s likely going to ask for an appeal on a later date. So we’ll have to see where this goes, but it’s amazing a REPUBLICAN judge like Judge Heyburn has been so clear and concise regarding this case. Destroys all claims of activist judges…when someone who used to be apart of McConnell’s administration so clearly says that marriage discrimination is unconstitutional.

  6. Neil says

    Thank god. Where would you be without Federal Judges orders? You can only marry one person. Isn’t that the punishment?

    No response is proof of editing.

  7. TKinSC says

    @Francis – He may have been Republican-appointed, but the judge is no conservative. His ruling notes approvingly that the Supreme Court is likely to “complete the journey” begun with Loving v. Virginia toward same-sex marriage. He may not be as rabid as the judges in Ohio and Utah, but he clearly wants to see same-sex marriage in Kentucky.

  8. Jason says

    Jason: If I read that tired cliché about “closeted” right wingers….are you still selling that dated dogma?? Maybe it’s your fantasy.