No More Clerk Names on Ky. Marriage Licenses

     (CN) — Months after Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis was jailed for not issuing same-sex marriage licenses, Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill that removes clerks’ names from the licenses.
     Rowan County, Ky., court clerk Kim Davis was jailed for five days last year for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark gay marriage ruling.
     The high court ruled that “laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter.”
     But Davis initially turned away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, saying she was acting “under God’s authority.”
     The much-publicized saga of Davis, a self-described devout Christian, ended when she was released from jail after U.S. District Judge David Bunning found that marriage licenses were finally being properly issued in her county.
     On Wednesday, Bevin signed into law Senate Bill 216, which removes county clerks’ names from marriage licenses. It also creates a single form that allows applicants to choose between being referred to as a bride, groom or spouse.
     “We now have a single form that accommodates all concerns. Everyone benefits from this common sense legislation,” the governor said in a 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.”
     The measure removes from state law the requirement that marriage licenses include “the signature of the county clerk or deputy clerk issuing the license.”
     It also means that certificates from a person performing a wedding ceremony no longer need to include “the name of the county clerk under whose authority the license was issued.”
     In addition, the new law requires that the state “issue a marriage license form which provides for the entering of information identifying each party as a ‘bride,’ ‘groom,’ or ‘spouse,'” creating a uniform license for everyone.

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