KYIV — The election of Kentucky as the 14th state to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States is in doubt.
A federal judge has ordered a recount in the state, and there are concerns about the integrity of the vote count in other swing states, including Virginia.
The ruling by US District Judge Mark Goldsmith came in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of gay and lesbian couples and the ACLU.
He is expected to rule later on Wednesday.
Key points:The US Supreme Court issued a stay of the election in the case brought by the ACLU, which was seeking a recount of Kentucky’s election results.
Judge Goldsmith said the legal process was continuing, but he had no plans to make a ruling.
“The question of the recount is now before the Court,” he wrote in a written order issued late Tuesday.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, has asked the state Supreme Court to halt the recount in order to give his office time to appeal to the US Supreme.
In the US, judges are not bound by the decisions of lower courts.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US Department of Justice announced it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-gender marriage.
It also said it would not defend the ban on gay marriage that was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in July.
At issue in the lawsuit are whether the Kentucky legislature should have considered changing the state constitution to prohibit same-, lesbian, bisexual and transgender marriage.
It also argues the ban is unconstitutional because it is a violation of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution.
As the lawsuit was being filed, the Kentucky Senate passed a bill to amend the state Constitution to explicitly ban same- and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender marriages.
The legislation, which passed the House on Monday, passed the Senate on Tuesday but has yet to be taken up by the full chamber.