Kentucky Senate OKs Kim Davis-inspired bill for separate gay marriage license

By Amy R. Connolly   |   Feb. 19, 2016 at 6:09 AM
| License Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The Kentucky state Senate approved a bill creating two marriage license forms -- one for same-sex couples and one for straight couples -- in an effort to address the controversy created last year when Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses based on her religious beliefs.

The bill, passed 30 to 8, removes the name and title of the county clerk and deputy clerk from the documents. One of the licenses would designate "bride and groom" and the other would designate "first party and second party." Both forms designate gender. Couples can choose which form to use.

Republican state Sen. Stephen West said the new forms address Davis' concerns. Last year, the longtime county clerk refused to issue any marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Davis was jailed for several days after she was found in contempt of court for ignoring a judge's orders to issue marriage licenses to all couples.

Minutes after the Republican-led Senate approved the bill, opponents declared it unconstitutional and railed against lawmakers.

"Separate forms for gay and lesbian Kentuckians constitute unqual treatment under the law," said Michael Aldridge, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. "Pure and simple, this bill is motivated by the desire to accommodate discrimination against same-sex couples."

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