A federal judge in Kentucky struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage on Tuesday, though the ruling was temporarily put on hold and it was not immediately clear when same-sex couples could be issued marriage licenses.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn, who previously ruled Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, concluded the state’s prohibition on same-sex couples being wed violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said the state would appeal the decision.
Heyburn noted that every federal court to consider a same-sex marriage ban has found it unconstitutional. On June 25, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals followed suit, upholding a ruling that overturned Utah’s ban. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments on rulings from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee in a single session, on Aug. 6 as the issue continues its climb to an inevitable showdown at the Supreme Court.