Same Sex Recognition Put On Hold

Same Sex Recognition Put On Hold

A Federal judge in Louisville, Kentucky, US on Wednesday ruled to allow the State more time to officially recognize same sex marriages performed in other states and countries, saying doing so will allow the law to become settled without causing confusion or granting rights only to have them taken away.

The ruling Wednesday comes just two days before gay couples would have been allowed to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain the benefits of any other married couple in Kentucky. It is similar to those granting same-sex marriage recognition rights but putting the implementation on hold in Texas, Utah, Virginia and other states facing legal challenges to their laws banning same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II of Louisville said in a four-page order that it is “best that these momentous changes occur upon full review” rather than being implemented too soon or causing confusing changes.

“That does not serve anyone well,” said Heyburn, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Heyburn said the delay would stay in place until the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati either rules on the merits of the case or orders the stay lifted.

“The Court has concerns about implementing an order which has dramatic effects, then having that order reversed, which is one possibility,” Heyburn said. “Under such circumstances, rights once granted could be cast in doubt.”

Same-sex marriage advocates have enjoyed a stunning string of legal victories this year, as judges have overturned ‘voter-approved’ bans on same sex marriage in Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia. Observers are now in limbo as regards who really makes the law in democracy. Is it the people or the judges?

At least 17 states, mostly in the Northeast, allow same-sex marriage as a result of overturn of the people’s wishes by judges. Others may soon follow depending on how federal appeals courts, and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court, rule on state bans that have been overturned.

Six federal judges have issued pro-gay-marriage rulings since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision last June that struck down part of the federal anti-gay-marriage law.

Attorneys Shannon Fauver and Laura Landenwich, who represent the multiple couples seeking to have their unions recognized, said they will ask the appeals court to lift the stay and let Heyburn’s original ruling take effect.

Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear’s office did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

The Attorney General in Kentucky Jack Conway whose responsibility it is to defend and prosecute on behalf of the State in legation left many perplexed by opting not to appeal the decision saying doing so will be ‘defending discrimination’.

The Governor who disagreed with the Mr Conway has therefore hired a private law firm to handle the appeal.

It remains to be seen if the United States will uphold the wishes of the people of Kentucky who say they don’t want same sex marriage or leave matters in the hands of judges once again

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