In what amounts to a confirmation of an opinion issued earlier this month, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn ruled today that the state of Kentucky must recognize all valid same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports:
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn today made final a ruling issued earlier this month in which he found that Kentucky's marriage amendment and statutes violate the right to equal protection under the law.
"Those laws ... are void and unenforceable," he said in a one page order.
Earlier today, Attorney General Jack Conway's office asked Heyburn to stay enforcement of his ruling, but Heyburn did not address that motion and for now his ruling goes into effect.
Attorney Dan Canon, a lawyer for the four gay and lesbian couples who won the case, said: "We are cautiously optimistic. The order has been granted without qualification and without a stay."
According to the report, Conway's motion also mentions that Steve Beshear, the Democratic governor of Kentucky, needs time "to decide how to implement the order if it is not appealed," suggesting that the attorney general -- who previously pledged to defend Kentucky's marriage discrimination amendment -- may ultimately decide not to fight today's ruling.
A copy of Judge Heyburn's order is after the jump.