"Pure and simple, this bill is motivated by the desire to accommodate discrimination against same-sex couples." - ACLU of Kentucky
Kentucky's Republican State Senate passed SB5 yesterday, creating two separate marriage license forms, one for straight couples and the other for gays.
The bill was intended to create a new license that no longer required the names of county clerks - the "religious accommodation" Rowan County clerk Kim Davis demanded for herself after the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality, (which apparently the Kentucky Senate believes is really just "marriage similarity".)
Newly elected Tea Party Governor Matt Bevin ordered the clerks' names removed from the form by executive order soon after taking office the first of the year, something Democratic Governor Steve Beshear maintained he didn't have to power to do, but the legislature is considering a new permanent form that everyone will be sure is legal. Make that forms. During the debate process, State Senator Morgan McGarvey attempted to amend SB5 to create only one form for all applicants, but Republicans voted it down.
After the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision in June, then-governor Steve Beshear replaced the words "bride" and "groom" on marriage license forms with "first party" and "second party." Republican lawmakers were determined to change that designation.
"Quite frankly, it’s almost disrespectful to the traditional family," complained Republican State Senator John Schickel. "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." (Translation: This is not bigotry because it is widely approved bigotry.)
The ACLU of Kentucky, which represented the couples who sued Kim Davis, are urging voters to contact their state representatives to make sure the bill does not pass the Democratically controlled House.
"Separate forms for gay and lesbian Kentuckians constitute unequal treatment under the law," complained Michael Aldridge, executive director of the ACLU of Kentucky. "Pure and simple, this bill is motivated by the desire to accommodate discrimination against same-sex couples."
We'll let you know how the SB5 fares in the statehouse.
Images are from the ACLU of Kentucky via Facebook