(AP) - The judge whose ruling striking down
's ban on gay
marriage led to an appeal heard this week in the U.S. Supreme Court, has died.
He was 66. Kentucky
According to an announcement from the court, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II died Wednesday at home after battling cancer for several years.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying Heyburn had delivered opinions in complex cases over more than two decades on the bench but would also be remembered for his devotion to his family.
Last year, Heyburn struck down
's ban on gay marriage and on
recognizing same-sex marriages from outside the state. The rulings were
reversed on appeal, but the Supreme Court heard arguments on them Tuesday. Kentucky