(Associated Press) A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, pointing not only to recent decisions that have struck down bans in other states but also to older rulings on a person’s right to marry.
The state’s ban treated “gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them,” U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn wrote Wednesday. While the case dealt with out-of-state marriages, it does not require the state to perform same-sex marriages.
Heyburn cited a long line of cases going back to the legalization of mixed-race marriages and mentioned recent same-sex marriage decisions in nine other states, including Hawaii and Utah. But he mainly relied on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling striking down a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, on which Kentucky’s same-sex marriage amendment had been based.