Court Strikes Down Kentucky Gay Marriage Ban as Unconstitutional

Gay Marriage Supreme Court
Gay marriage supporter Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, June 24, 2013. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a same-sex marriage ban in Kentucky, the latest in a string of court rulings across the country to void state laws restricting the right to marry.

U.S. District Judge John Heyburn in Louisville, Kentucky said "same-sex couples' right to marry seems to be a uniquely 'free' constitutional right. Hopefully, even those opposed to or uncertain about same-sex marriage will see it that way in the future."

He said that to the extent Kentucky law denied same-sex couples the right to marry in that state, it violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

Heyburn put enforcement of his decision on hold pending further orders from the federal appeals court in Cincinnati, which handles appeals from his court.

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