Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin ordered the removal of county clerks' names from Kentucky marriage certificates. The new governor made the decision in response to the scandal involving Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who is currently in jail because she refused to approve the marriage license of a gay couple.
Governor Bevin issued a statement saying, "To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, I took action to revise the clerk marriage license form."
Not Clear if Action Will Help Davis
At this point, it is not clear whether the governor's order will affect the jailed woman's pending legal case. Davis' case became the centerpiece of the gay marriage debate after she refused to provide marriage licenses to gay couples in spite of the fact that same-sex marriage was universally legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court last June.
The woman cited her Christian beliefs as the reason for denying the marriage certificates. Davis claimed that her beliefs require couples to be heterosexual if they wish to get married. She was soon sent to jail for denying the marriage certificate and spent five days behind bars for defying a court order.
Davis' Lawyer Says It Was a Wonderful Christmas Gift
The 50-year-old woman had an audience with Pope Francis when he visited Washington last September. The fact she was sent to jail stirred up international tension over gay marriage. Demonstrations were held by people representing both sides of the issue.
According to Davis' lawyer, the governor's action to remove clerk names was a "wonderful Christmas gift," as it will allow his client to practice her faith and not lose her job. As for Davis, she had repeatedly requested the previous Kentucky governor to take clerks' names off the form to no avail.
Although gay marriage is now legal, certain questions may still arise in different contexts. Gay couples may wish to speak with a family law attorney in order to fully understand how they might be affected by gay marriage if they choose to tie the knot.
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