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Judge: Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages

Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

In a 23-page ruling, Judge John G. Heyburn II struck down Kentucky's ban on recognition of gay marriages conducted outside of the Commonwealth.

The Courier-Journal reports:

Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs ... are vital to the fabric of society ... assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.”

Heyburn said “it is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”

Kentucky voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 banning gay marriages and the recognition of such performed outside of the state. The ruling does not permit gay marriages to be performed legally in Kentucky.

Read the ruling in full: