Kentucky Governor Drops County Clerk Names From Marriage Licenses

Kentucky Governor Drops County Clerk Names
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order Tuesday dropping county clerk names from marriage licenses issued in the state. The move came after controversy stirred by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed after she refused to issue any marriage licenses in the wake of Supreme Court approval of same-sex marriage. File photo by ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

FRANKFORT, Ky., Dec. 23 (UPI) — A Kentucky county clerk’s name will no longer be required on state marriage license forms, an executive order by Gov. Matt Bevin says.

Bevin, a Republican, signed the order Tuesday changing the state’s marriage license forms.

It comes after Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis provoked controversy earlier this year by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying it violated her religious beliefs. After defying a judge’s order, she was jailed for five days for failing to perform her official duties while her deputies stepped in to issue licenses.

Davis sued Bevins’ predecessor, Gov. Steve Beshear, and another state official for allegedly violating her religious freedom.

“To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, Executive Order 2015-048 directs the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to issue a revised marriage license form to the offices of all Kentucky county clerks. The name of the county clerk is no longer required to appear on the form,” Bevins’ office said in a statement.

The action may complicate same-sex marriage in Kentucky.

“Governor Bevin’s executive action has added to the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over marriage licensing in Kentucky,” American Civil Liberties Union legal director William Sharp said in a statement. “The requirement that the county clerk’s name appear on marriage licenses is prescribed by Kentucky law and is not subject to unilateral change by the governor — conceded by the previous administration in court filings.”

The ACLU represented same-sex couples who were denied licenses by Davis.


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