Kentucky's legal bill for defending its constitutional amendment that excludes gay and lesbian couples from marriage could top more than $2 million.

Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, hired outside counsel when his own attorney general refused to defend the state's ban in court.

(Related: Kentucky AG Jack Conway on decision not to defend gay marriage ban.)

According to the Courier-Journal, the 9-lawyer team that represented plaintiffs in the case are asking for $2,091,297 in compensation.

The losing side in civil rights cases are required by federal law to pay the winning side's legal fees as determined by a court.

Kentucky's case was consolidated with similar challenges from Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee as it wound its way to the Supreme Court. In Obergefell v. Hodges, the high court determined that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Kentucky's tab is the second largest among the four states behind a $2.3 million legal bill proposed by the lawyers who represented plaintiffs who challenged Tennessee's ban.