This ruling is NOT stayed:
A federal judge said Wednesday afternoon that he would issue a final order within 24 hours requiring Kentucky to immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.
In response, lawyers for the attorney general’s office told U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II at a hearing that the state would “very promptly” decide whether to appeal the order.
Heyburn told lawyers that his final order will not include a stay postponing it from taking effect. “There could be some confusion” among Kentuckians who quickly seek legal benefits stemming from their same-sex marriages, such as joint tax-filing status, if the state appeals 30 days later and delays the implementation of the order or throws its future into question, Heyburn cautioned.
The state’s attorney general has asked for a ninety day delay in implementing the ruling, so that they may decide whether to waste their time on an appeal, in an effort to stave off the inevitable.
After some initial confusion this morning over whether Heyburn had given this order, it has now been confirmed:
U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn ordered Kentucky officials to recognize same-sex couples’ marriages performed out of state, an order that followed his Feb. 12 opinion in the case.
Kentucky’s Constitution and laws that ban recognition of such marriages, Heyburn wrote, “violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and they are void and unenforceable.”
Although state officials earlier Thursday sought a stay of his order pending any appeal, none was issued in Heyburn’s order, though a response could follow.
Additionally, Heyburn on Thursday granted a request to allow additional couples seeking full marriage rights — as opposed to recognition of marriages conducted elsewhere — to intervene in the case.
If it seems like we’re hearing stories like this every other day lately, it’s because equality really is coming that fast.