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Kentucky Governor seeks delay on recognition of out-of-state marriages to consider whether to appeal

Kentucky Governor seeks delay on recognition of out-of-state marriages to consider whether to appeal

Kentucky’s Democrat Governor Steve Beshear is seeking a 90 day delay to a court order forcing the state to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in jurisdictions where they are legal so that he can consider whether to launch an appeal.

On 12 February US District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky’s refusal to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages treated gays and lesbians in a ‘way that demeans them,’ and ordered the state to recognize them like they would any other out of state marriage.

Heyburn did not stay the ruling. However Kentucky state Attorney General Jack Conway, also a Democrat has now joined with Governor Beshear in seeking the 90 day delay.

Heyburn has also allowed two more same-sex couples who are seeking the right to marry in Kentucky to join the lawsuit which could potentially now see same-sex marriage legalized throughout the state.

Conway’s office did not oppose the two couples joining the case as doing so would have simply delayed a decision on the issue.

However Conway says he is duty bound to defend the state’s laws despite US Attorney General Eric Holder declaring Monday that state attorneys general are not obliged to defend their state bans on same-sex marriage.

Conway is expected to run for governor next year.

The news comes just days after a judge ruled Texas was in breach of the US constitution over its ban on gay couples marrying – though that ruling has been suspended so that it can be appealed.