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Federal judge grants indefinite delay of his same-sex marriage ruling in Kentucky

  • Lexington Herald-Leader
  • Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at 4:46 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at 4:51 p.m.

— A federal judge on Wednesday gave Gov. Steve Beshear an indefinite delay in a court order requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II agreed to stay his February order on same-sex marriages "until further order" of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, to which Beshear formally appealed the case this week. Heyburn's temporary stay in the case was set to expire Thursday.

Beshear argued that Kentucky should not have to change its laws and policies on marriage until the U.S. Supreme Court has settled the matter once and for all. Beshear hired private lawyers to represent him in the case after Attorney General Jack Conway backed out of it, saying Kentucky was on the wrong side of a battle against discrimination.

Heyburn wrote in his order that he was reluctant to delay recognition of same-sex marriages, having previously found Kentucky law on the subject to be unconstitutional. But the U.S. Supreme Court intervened and ordered a stay in a similar case in Utah headed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, he wrote.

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