FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has hired a private law firm from Ashland to represent him in appealing a judge's decision allowing state recognition of same-sex marriages.
Beshear announced Thursday that the state has signed a contract with the firm of VanAntwerp, Monge, Jones, Edwards & McCann. The 11-member practice also has an office in Frankfort.
The attorneys will handle Beshear's appeal of U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn's decision to overturn parts of a 2004 state constitutional amendment that barred recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.
Unless a federal appeals court steps in and halts the ruling, the state will have to start allowing same-sex couples to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)