Kentucky Two Marriage Licenses Bill Opposed By LGBT Activists

Kentucky may soon create two separate marriage license forms. If the state senate passed the proposed bill, one marriage license form will be handed to gay couples and another form will be presented to traditional brides and grooms to sign.

The current Kentucky marriage license form was created after the U.S. Supreme court legalized gay marriage. The form eliminated the male and female references on the government-issued certificate which has been used since the country began issuing marriage licenses, Newsmax reports.

The state was forced to alter the way the signing of the forms are handled after Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Before leaving office at the end of 2015, former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear changed the wording on the marriage licenses to read “first party” and “second party.”

Republican supporters of the creation of two marriage licenses in Kentucky have stated that the bill will demonstrate the support of traditional marriage between a bride and a groom, Fox News reports.

“Quite frankly, it’s almost disrespectful to the traditional family,” Republican State Senator John Schickel said. “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.”

Bill sponsor and Republican Senator Stephen West said that gay couples are welcome to choose the form with the words bride and groom and fill it in as they desire and the paperwork will be promptly processed. West represents the region which includes Rowan County.

Some Democrats in the state senate are working to kill the marriage license legislation by adding an amendment in hopes of appeasing both sides on the controversial issue. State Senator Morgan McGarvey wanted to keep just one marriage license form and give applicants the option of checking the word “bride,” “groom,” or “spouse” next to their name. McGarvey says keeping a single form would be both efficient and less expensive than making two forms. The amendment failed.

The ACLU feels that the Kentucky State Senate is creating a “dangerous slippery slope precedent” by “catering” to specific religious beliefs and prioritizing some views over others.

Some supporters of the bill staunchly maintain that being able to identify the marriage applicants as either a bride or a groom is not a religious issue. Others who oppose the new marriage licenses have stated that removing the longstanding labels of bride and groom in favor or a gender-neutral option is in fact prioritizing the beliefs and feelings of gay marriage applicants over those of straight couples.

“Separate forms for gay and lesbian Kentuckians constitute unequal treatment under the law,” ACLU Kentucky director Michael Aldridge said. “Pure and simple, this bill is motivated by the desire to accommodate discrimination against same-sex couples.”

Not all GOP lawmakers in the state support the two Kentucky marriage license forms bill. Both Julie Raque and Will Schroder stated they want the state to only have one form to fill out for all applicants. Democratic Senator Gerald Neal is one of the most vocal opponents of the bill. He claims the legislation will take Kentucky down a path that has already had a “tendency to reinforce bigotry.

What do you think about the Kentucky two marriage license bill?

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