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Ky. Couples Sue for In-State Marriage Rights

By Trudy Ring

Shortly after a federal judge ruled that Kentucky should recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, two gay couples have filed suit calling on the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex pairs.

The couples Friday filed an “intervening complaint” asking U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn to expand on the decision he issued Wednesday, Louisville’s Courier-Journal reports. The case in which Heyburn ruled dealt only with recognition of out-of-state marriages, but the couples say the same constitutional argument, equal protection of the laws, applies to the issuance of marriage licenses within the state.

The couples, Timothy Love and Lawrence Ysunza, and Maurice Blanchard and Dominique James, “say they should be allowed to join the earlier lawsuit in the interest of ‘judicial economy’ and because there are issues common to both cases,” the Courier-Journal notes. They are represented by the same attorneys who handled the case for the four couples in the original suit.

“The court was not presented with the particular question whether Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional,” Heyburn wrote in his ruling. “However, there is no doubt that Windsor [last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing federal recognition of same-sex marriages] and this court’s analysis suggest a possible result to that question.” The ruling won’t be final until Heyburn works out details of its implementation, and he plans to schedule a hearing on the subject.

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