Kentucky governor to hire attorneys to appeal marriage equality order

UPDATE: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said the state will hire outside attorneys to appeal the decision.

Kentucky's attorney general will not appeal a federal ruling that the state must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

However, Gov. Steve Beshear said he will hire outside lawyers to handle the case.

A federal judge had ordered the ruling to take effect on March 20.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat, said he would not appeal. Conway said if he did stand in the way of the order, he "would be defending discrimination. That I will not do."

But later Beshear, also a Democrat, said he would hire someone to handle the appeal.

Another lawsuit in Kentucky demands full marriage equality for same-sex couples in the state. A ruling in that case is expected this summer, unless the state withdraws its defense in that case as well.

Kentucky's constitutional ban against same-sex was approved by voters in 2004.

In recent months, federal judges have ruled for same-sex couples in multiple cases, including Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and Kentucky.

Meanwhile, attorneys general in several states have said they cannot defend anti-gay laws.

A hearing regarding the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin case seeking to overturn Wisconsin’s anti-gay marriage laws will take place on March 27.

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