Could it be that Kim Davis isn’t the biggest homophobe in Kentucky?
The divisive Kentucky clerk was jailed for contempt of court last year after repeatedly blocking same-sex weddings.
A Republican-backed law passed in the state Senate earlier this month which would 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”. Licenses issued for heterosexual couples would maintain their ‘traditional’ wording.
However, according to Kentucky Senator Morgan McGarvey, Davis passionately spoke at a clerk’s meeting on the issue – against the segregation.
Senator McGarvey, who submitted an amendment which would have maintained a single form for gay and straight couples, said that he was stunned to hear Davis speaking in favour of his amendment.
He wrote: “I had no idea what to expect when discussing my proposed changes to the marriage license form with the vast majority of Kentucky’s clerks, especially when I noticed Mrs. Davis, the Rowan County Clerk, sitting in the audience.
“SB 5 calls for the creation of two separate marriage license forms: one with spaces for ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ and the other with lines designated ‘first party’ and ‘second party’.
“I proposed reducing the headaches created by two forms by combing them into one form that allows the couple getting married to select whether they wish to be identified as the ‘bride’, ‘groom’, or ‘spouse’.
“My own reasoning is simple. One form is easier to handle, less expensive and puts everyone on equal footing.”
He added: “After passing out sample forms and answering a multitude of questions and hypothetical scenarios, Kentucky’s clerks seemed to agree that one form is how we should proceed.
“Then Mrs Davis stood up to speak. We had never met and I had no idea what to expect.
“To my pleasure, and admittedly my surprise, Mrs Davis agreed with my amendment and my approach.
“In front of a room full of her colleagues she emotionally acknowledged her role in causing this debate but whole-heartedly endorsed my amendment.
“As Mrs Davis told the other clerks, they should support my amendment because using two forms just invites problems.
“I stood in stunned silence at the front of the room as Mrs Davis’ remarks seemed to cement the clerks’ opinions that we should use one form instead of two.”
However, even rejection from Kim Davis wasn’t enough to convince hardline Republicans to abandon their plans for ‘segregated’ marriage.
Senator McGarvey continued: “Unfortunately that is not where the story ends.
“The Senate did not feel the same way about my amendment as Mrs. Davis and the rest of Kentucky’s clerks.
“The [local newspaper] Courier’s website headline said, ‘Kim Davis marriage license bill clears Senate’. Ironically, the truth is that both Mrs. Davis and the Fairness Coalition opposed the bill as it finally passed.”
The bill is now headed to the state House – but may be subject to a legal challenge if it passes.