- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014
Ky. same-sex marriage recognition put on hold

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A federal judge is giving Kentucky 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.

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.

Heyburn’s order is similar to those granting same-sex marriage recognition rights but putting the implementation on hold in Texas, Utah, Virginia and other states.

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Senate OKs proposal to cut legislative sessions

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky lawmakers would spend less time in session under a proposal that passed the Senate with bipartisan support on Wednesday.

The proposed change to the state constitution aims to cut the amount of time lawmakers are in session by a third over each two-year period.

Senate President Robert Stivers said his proposal would save money and encourage more people to run for legislative seats.

Lawmakers now meet for 90 days every two years, which takes them away from jobs and their families for months at a time, he said.

“There are people in this chamber, as we stand here and sit here today, that have thought about leaving or are leaving because we are no longer a citizen legislature,” said Stivers, R-Manchester.

The measure cleared the Republican-led Senate on a 34-3 vote and now goes to the Democratic-run House. The proposed revisions to the legislative calendar would go on the November ballot for Kentucky voters to decide if it clears the General Assembly.

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