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Final Order on Kentucky’s Recognition of Out-Of-State Marriages Expected Today (UpdateD)

Jim Burroway

February 27th, 2014

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

A federal judge said Wednesday afternoon that he would issue a final order within 24 hours requiring Kentucky to immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.

…In response, lawyers for the attorney general’s office told U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II at a hearing that the state would “very promptly” decide whether to appeal the order.Heyburn told lawyers that his final order will not include a stay postponing it from taking effect. “There could be some confusion” among Kentuckians who quickly seek legal benefits stemming from their same-sex marriages, such as joint tax-filing status, if the state appeals 30 days later and delays the implementation of the order or throws its future into question, Heyburn cautioned.

The named defendants in the lawsuit, Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway, are both Democrats. Neither of them mounted a defense of the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state. Judge Heyburn struck down Kentucky’s prohibition against recognizing out-of-state marriages two weeks ago.

Update: A clarification is in order: “Attorneys for the state did not introduce evidence against same-sex marriage while the suit was being argued, limiting the case to issues of law,” so says the Lexington Herald-Leader. As expected, the order came down today and out-of-state marriages are legal — for now:

However, Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway, who defended the same-sex marriage ban in court, have 30 days to appeal. And hours before Heyburn handed down his order, Conway’s office filed a motion asking Heyburn for a “stay,” a 90-day delay in implementing the ruling.

“This will give defendants time to determine if they will appeal the order, and the executive branch time to determine what actions must be taken to implement this court’s order if no appeal is taken,” Clay Barkley, a lawyer for Conway’s office, wrote in Thursday’s motion. “Should defendants elect to appeal from any final order, they reserve the right to seek a stay for the duration of an appeal.”

Heyburn responded to Conway’s request by scheduling a telephone conference call for the lawyers in the case for 2:30 p.m. Friday.

But for at least one day, same-sex marriages performed elsewhere are legal in Kentucky, said Laura Landenwich, an attorney for four same-sex married couples who sued Beshear and Conway last year.

Comments

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Richard Rush
February 27th, 2014 | LINK

It’s official now. Just one day after Texas fell, Kentucky has now also fallen into the hands of Satan.

Ben in Oakland
February 27th, 2014 | LINK

I hope he’s wearing gloves. That’s the problem with picking up texas. you don’t know where it’s been.

Nathaniel
February 28th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks for the clarification, Jim. External news sources weren’t helpful, reporting the same thing they reported back when the original ruling was released. Even some of my LGBT friends on facebook seemed to have collective amnesia about the original ruling, so it wasn’t to me what exactly was going on.

jutta
February 28th, 2014 | LINK

At University of Michigan Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse you can find the decisions and orders in the marriage cases and often also the filings by the parties and amici: http://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=12892

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