UPDATE: Community Reacts After Same-Sex Marriage Recognized by Federal Judge in Kentucky

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"To be filed on taxes, and burial rights, and hospital visitation.  Just very basic things that we always want and feel that we should be afforded, but we never have been, and now, we are," said Dillon.

UPDATED 10:30PM -- A federal judge has signed an order saying Kentucky must now legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.

U.S. District Judge John G Heyburn's order follows his February 12 ruling that Kentucky's ban on same sex-marriages, "treated gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them." That ban was approved by voters in 2004.

"We had an election. We had people vote their conscience, and the conscience spoke to a traditional view of marriage, and an individual has chosen to override that. I don't think it's healthy. I don't think it's good," said Living Hope Baptist Church Pastor Jason Pettus.

Pettus says his view would not change regardless of whether or not the people voted for or against the ban.

"It's a picture of the union we have in Christ. Again that is our view and it's a beautiful picture of connection in a way that honors God, creates life, and provides the best opportunity to rear children in," said Pettus.

Meanwhile one local graduate student at WKU says he and his partner have been identifying as husbands long before this order was handed down.

"We use that term because it's how we feel about each other, and even though we couldn't get legally married, federally when we wanted to or on a state level," said WKU graduate student Ryan Dillon.

Under this order, that feeling will come with the same legal benefits as a marriage between a man and woman.

"To be filed on taxes, and burial rights, and hospital visitation. Just very basic things that we always want and feel that we should be afforded, but we never have been, and now, we are," said Dillon.

Dillon and his husband plan to make it legal in D.C. this year, and say the ruling is a pleasant coincidence.

"It's a small nudge in the right direction. I'm not nearly as excited as most people I know, because I fully expect the attorney general to appeal the decision and drag this out for a little while, but I honestly never thought I'd live long enough to even see Kentucky get this far." -said WKU graduate student Daniel Shouse.

Attorney General Jack Conway has asked for a 90 day delay on the order, a request that has yet to be ruled on.

This order comes on the heels of a federal judge in Texas striking down that state's same-sex marriage ban. That judge immediately delayed the implementation of his rulingending appeals by the state.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A federal judge has signed an order directing officials in Kentucky to immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II on Thursday issued a final order throwing out part of the state's ban on gay marriages. The order makes official his Feb. 12 ruling that Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages treated "gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them."

The order means same-sex couples may change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky. The order doesn't affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kentucky's attorney general has asked for a delay, which hasn't been ruled upon.


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