LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A federal judge in Kentucky has struck down the state's ban on same-sex couples getting licenses and marrying in the state.
However, Tuesday's ruling was temporarily put on hold because it will be appealed, meaning it is not yet clear when same-sex couples could be issued marriage licenses.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn in Louisville concluded in Tuesday's ruling that the state's prohibition on same-sex couples being wed violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by treating gay couples differently than straight couples.
“Just glad for this decision and very, very thankful to Judge Heyburn for seeing us as human beings and treating us as equals," Timothy Love, who was denied a marriage license in February, said.
Heyburn previously struck down Kentucky's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages from other states and countries, but put the implementation of that ruling is on hold. That decision did not deal with whether Kentucky would have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Governor Steve Beshear released the following statement:
“Now that Judge Heyburn has issued his opinion on this portion of the case, we will be appealing the decision so that the matter is fully before the Sixth Circuit, where these same issues from other states are already scheduled to be decided by the Sixth Circuit.”
Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) released the following statement:
“Judge Heyburn’s ruling striking down Kentucky’s marriage ban affirms once again that there is no government interest in discrimination against same-sex couples. I am proud our Commonwealth has joined the growing list of states recognizing that the right to marry applies to all citizens.”
Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9) has issued the following statement:
"Oh the sun is shining brighter on my old Kentucky home today. It is no surprise that Judge Heyburn rightly followed his previous logic in striking down this 2004 amendment in KY. I am grateful for his intellect and clear interpretation that the ban is simply unconstitutional. Equally important, I believe, is the distinction that "civil marriage" should be available to all. This struggle for equality has always been about civil rights for everyone. Today KY moves ever closer to forming a more perfect union and my cup is running over with pride."