Judge determines same-sex couples have right to marry in Kentucky
A federal judge in Kentucky has struck down the states ban on gay marriage. The ruling was temporarily put on hold and it was not clear when same-sex couples could be issued marriage licenses. Judge John G. Heyburn in Louisville concluded that the states prohibition on same-sex couples being wed violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by treating gay couples differently than straight couples. The judge previously struck down Kentucky's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages from other states and countries, but he put the implementation of that ruling on hold. That decision did not deal with whether Kentucky would have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Tuesday's ruling dealt directly with that question. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said the state will appeal the decision.