Kentucky's ban on gay marriage suffered a major blow today.
A federal judge has ruled that the US state must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where such unions are legal.
In partially striking down the ban, US District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote that the state's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a 'way that demeans them.'
The ban was one of several passed in US states during the 2004 presidential election that brought Republican George W. Bush a second term. Same-sex marriage was successfully used by the GOP as a wedge issue that year.
The out-of-state clause was a part of Kentucky's ban.
In 23-page a ruling from Heyburn was from a lawsuit filed by four-sex couples married in other states who sued to have their marriages legally recognized in Kentucky.
The issue of whether the state should be required to allow same-sex marriages to be performed was not a part of this particular lawsuit.