Kentucky Will Appeal Marriage Equality Decision, But Attorney General Will No Longer Defend Ban

CREDIT: AP Photo/Roger Alford

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D)

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) announced Tuesday that the state will not appeal a recent federal court decision requiring the state to recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states. A court order issued last week stated that the decision would take effect March 20.

Conway explained his decision by saying simply, “I would be defending discrimination. That I will not do.” This means that married same-sex couples will be able to file joint tax returns, pursue name changes, and enjoy other state benefits afforded to other married couples. Kentucky was not ordered to issue same-sex marriage licenses, but a new lawsuit has since been filed pursuing that right.


Gov. Steve Beshear (D) has announced that he will hire outside counsel to appeal the decision. The appeal could trigger a stay of the decision, preventing recognition of same-sex marriages from taking effect.

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