A federal judge has put his own ruling
ordering Kentucky officials to recognize the legal out-of-state
marriages of gay and lesbian couples on hold as the state pursues an
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II,
who had originally given the state until March 20 to comply, on
Wednesday stayed his ruling until the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
in Cincinnati acts.
“The Court has concerns about
implementing an order which has dramatic effects, then having that
order reversed, which is one possibility,” Heyburn
said in his 4-page order. “Under such circumstances, rights
once granted could be cast in doubt.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they
will ask the appeals court to lift the stay.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are four gay
and lesbian couples who want Kentucky to recognize their marriages
celebrated in a separate state or country.
A separate suit before the same judge
seeks to allow gay couples to marry in Kentucky.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, a
Democrat, requested the stay through private attorneys hired after
Attorney General Jack Conway announced that he would not defend in
court Kentucky's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment
limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
AG refuses to defend gay marriage ban; Gov. to hire outside counsel.)
(Ruling provided by Equality