KENTUCKY: Judge Grants Gay Divorce

Via the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Despite a Kentucky law that bars the recognition of gay marriages performed where they are legal, a Jefferson Family Court judge has granted the state’s first same-sex divorce. In the first ruling of its kind in Kentucky, Judge Joseph O’Reilly permitted the divorce of two Louisville women who were legally married in Massachusetts. Though state law says gay marriages performed elsewhere are void in Kentucky, O’Reilly said that barring same-sex couples to divorce here violates the state constitutional guarantee that all people should be treated as equals. In an eight-page opinion dissolving the marriage of Alysha Romero and Rebecca Sue Romero, O’Reilly also noted that Kentucky divorce law requires that it be “liberally construed” to promote “amicable settlements” of disputes between spouses. Alysha Romero said in an interview that she was pleased she and her ex-spouse would not have to spend the time and money to return to Massachusetts, where they were wed, to end their marriage.

According to the above-linked report, the state did not attempt to block the divorce. A spokesperson for Gov. Steve Beshear declined to comment. Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage is among the four appeals out of the Sixth Circuit currently before SCOTUS for consideration.