Kentucky’s governor on Wednesday signed into law a bill that removes county clerks’ names from the state marriage license forms at the center of a controversy involving an official jailed last year for refusing to issue licenses to gay couples.
Senate Bill 216, signed by Republican Governor Matt Bevin, also creates a single form that either heterosexual or same-sex couples can use. Applicants can choose between being called bride, groom or spouse.
“We now have a single form that accommodates all concerns. Everyone benefits from this common sense legislation,” Bevin said in an emailed statement. “There is no additional cost or work required by our county clerks. They are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty.”
From the Liberty Counsel:
“The First Amendment guarantees Kim and every American the free exercise of religion, even when they are working for the government. County clerks should not be forced to license something that is prohibited by their religious convictions,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “To provide a license is to provide approval and places a legal authority behind the signature. We celebrate this legislative victory. County clerks are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty,” said Staver.
Regardless whether Kim Davis’s name is on marriage licenses, the law is clear: They’re issued by the county clerk, which is Kim Davis. (3/3)
— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) April 14, 2016