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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Courts - Kentucky federal judge stays enforcement of gay marriage ruling pending appeal

In this Feb. 28th post it was reported that U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II was giving "Kentucky officials 20 days to figure out how to implement his ruling that requires the state to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere."

Today, March 20th, Andrew Wolfson reports in the Louisville Courier Journal:

A federal judge has extended the stay of his gay-marriage ruling, saying the state presented legitimate concerns that it could cause "chaos" if same-sex marriages were recognized in Kentucky and then the decision was later reversed.

With his stay about to expire Thursday, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II said that while Gov. Steve Beshear's lawyers hadn't shown they are likely to win on appeal, it is "best that these momentous changes occur with full review, rather than risk premature implementation or confusing changes. That does not serve anyone well."

But in his opinion, Heyburn expressed sympathy for the plaintiffs, saying it may be difficult to understand "how rights won can be delayed." * * *

Heyburn's Feb. 12 opinion came on the heels of similar rulings by nine other state and federal court judges — and as a growing number of states have approved same-sex marriage.

Since the ruling, federal judges in Tennessee and Texas have struck down gay-marriage bans.

The same lawyers handling the Kentucky case on March 4 filed a similar suit in federal court in Southern Indiana to force that state to recognize same-sex marriages.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 20, 2014 09:03 AM
Posted to Courts in general