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A federal judge in Kentucky has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage in the state. But Tuesday's ruling was temporarily put on hold because it will be appealed, meaning it is not yet clear when same-sex couples could be issued marriage licenses.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn in Louisville concluded in Tuesday's ruling that the state's prohibition on same-sex couples being wed violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by treating gay couples differently than straight couples. Heyburn said "same-sex couples' right to marry seems to be a uniquely 'free' constitutional right. Hopefully, even those opposed to or uncertain about same-sex marriage will see it that way in the future." Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

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