UK initiative honors judge who tossed state gay marriage ban

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A new University of Kentucky initiative will honor the late U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn, who was best known for overturning Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage.

Media outlets report that the Heyburn Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary, introduced in a ceremony Monday, will consist of a new archives collection, a series of federal judicial conferences and a lecture series.

Among those in attendance Monday was U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who called Heyburn a "dear friend."

Heyburn was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in 1992. He served as chief judge in the Western District from 2001 to 2008.

In 2014, Heyburn struck down Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban, saying it violated the 14th Amendment.

Heyburn died of cancer in 2015.


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