FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Gov. Steve Beshear says the state has hired a private law firm to represent him in appealing a judge's order for Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries.
Beshear announced Thursday that the state has signed a contract with the 11-member Ashland firm of VanAntwerp, Monge, Jones, Edwards & McCann.
The attorneys will handle Beshear's appeal of U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn's decision to overturn parts of a 2004 state constitutional amendment that barred recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other places.
Unless a federal appeals court steps in and halts the ruling, the state will have to start allowing same-sex couples to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky.