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.
(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
A federal judge has struck down Texas' ban on gay marriage, but is leaving it in place pending a ruling by an appeals court later this year.
Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction on the ban Wednesday, then suspended his ruling. Two gay couples had challenged the state's constitutional amendment and a longstanding law banning gay marriage.
Under federal court rules, a judge may suspend a law if he or she believes the plaintiffs have a strong case and will suffer if the law is enforced.
Garcia said his injunction against Texas enforcing its ban will take effect once an appeals court has a chance to rule on the issue.
The ruling is the latest in a recent series of victories for gay rights activists.
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