Recognition of Gay Marriages in Kentucky Put on Hold

A federal judge's ruling ordering Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed from out-of-state has been put on hold pending appeal, the AP reports:

KentuckyThe ruling Wednesday comes just two days before gay couples would have been allowed to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain the benefits of any other married couple in Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II of Louisville said in a four-page order that it is "best that these momentous changes occur upon full review" rather than being implemented too soon or causing confusing changes.

"That does not serve anyone well," said Heyburn, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Heyburn said the delay would stay in place until the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati either rules on the merits of the case or orders the stay lifted.

Governor Steve Beshear has hired an outside counsel to defend the state's ban after Attorney General Jack Conway made an announcement that he would refuse to defend it.