A bill has been passed in Kentucky creating separate variants of marriage licenses for gay and straight couples.
The state’s Republican Governor Matt Bevin has pushed through changes to help out clerk Kim Davis – who attracted controversy when she abused her authority to block same-sex weddings.
A Republican-backed bill passed in the state Senate yesterday would alter create separate license forms for gay and straight couples.
The bill would strip the titles “bride/groom” from the licenses for same-sex couples – banning them from being ‘groom and groom’ or ‘bride and bride’, and instead simply stating “first party” and “second party”.
One Republican Senator labelled it “disrespectful” for same-sex couples to use the terms bride or groom.
Senator John Schickel said: “Quite frankly, it’s almost disrespectful to the traditional family.
“That’s’ why, wisely, we decided to have two forms. That has nothing to do with bigotry, nothing to do with discrimination.
“It has to do with the vast majority of Kentuckians that respect traditional marriage.”
However, the American Civil Liberties Union warned that the segregated licenses are “setting a dangerous slippery slope precedent by catering to one specific religious belief and privileging that over others”.
Michael Aldridge of the ACLU Kentucky wrote: “Separate forms for gay and lesbian Kentuckians constitute unequal treatment under the law.
“Pure and simple, this bill is motivated by the desire to accommodate discrimination against same-sex couples.”
The change comes after Governor Bevin issued an order that permitted Kim Davis to issue altered marriage licenses – removing her name, signature, and references to the authority of the state of Kentucky.
The altered licenses issued by the Rowan County office instead claim to have been issued “pursuant to Federal Court Order”.
Despite questions over their legality, a court has affirmed that they will still be recognised.