A federal judge has struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,” US District Judge John Heyburn ruled on Tuesday.

He added: “The state’s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in ‘ensuring humanity’s continued existence’ are at best illogical and even bewildering.

“These arguments fail for the precise reasons that Defendant’s procreation argument fails. Numerous courts have repeatedly debunked all other reasons for enacting such laws. The Court can think of no other conceivable legitimate reason for Kentucky’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage.”

Today’s decision will go to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is also set to review federal decisions on same-sex marriage cases in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Judge Heyburn struck down Kentucky’s ban on recognising same-sex marriages from other states and countries in March, although implementation of that ruling was also put on hold.