FRANKFORT, Ky. (USA TODAY) -- Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced
Tuesday morning that he would not appeal a federal judge's ruling
ordering the state to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed
outside the state.
"Judge (John) Heyburn got it right," he said at his Frankfort office.
By appealing, he said, he would be defending discrimination "and that I will not do."
said he had prayed on the decision and felt he is doing what is right.
He said that he was sworn to defend both the constitutions of Kentucky
and the United States.
"It's about placing people over politics," he said.
He began choking up at the end of the statement before leaving without taking questions.
had put enforcement of his order on hold for 20 days to allow state
officials time to figure out how to implement the ruling. Conway and
Gov. Steve Beshear had asked Heyburn for a 90-day reprieve.
stay until March 20, announced Feb. 28, came about one hour after a
hearing at which Assistant Attorney General Clay Barkley had argued that
the state needs to meet with local and state agencies to see what laws,
rules and policies will be affected and to ensure that all 120 counties
Heyburn's order to the state requiring the
recognition of same-sex marriages performed out-of-state came after a
Feb. 12 ruling that Kentucky laws and its constitutional amendment
banning the recognition of same-sex marriages violate the constitutional
guarantee of equal protection under the law.
He made that order final Feb. 27, meaning it was in effect briefly before the Feb. 28 stay.
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