BIG news via the Louisville Courier-Journal:
A federal judge Wednesday struck down Kentucky’s ban on recognizing valid same-sex marriages performed in other states, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II joined nine other federal and state courts in invalidating such bans. Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs … are vital to the fabric of society … assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.” Heyburn said “it is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”
You might recall that in October 2013, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway issued a weak defense of the suit.
UPDATE: Freedom To Marry reacts.
Today a Republican-appointed federal judge in Kentucky held – as did judges in Utah and Oklahoma weeks ago and as did the U.S. Supreme Court last year – that there is simply no legitimate justification for denying equal protection to same-sex couples, echoing the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry, including a growing number of conservatives. It is wrong for the government to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry the person they love; a freedom that is part of every American’s liberty and pursuit of happiness. With one of the many cases across the country potentially making it to the Supreme Court as soon as 2015, we must continue to make the case across the country that America — all of America — is ready for the freedom to marry.
Story developing, check back for updates….