The state’s Senate approved legislation Feb 17 that requires authorities to issue separate marriage licenses for gays and straights. Moreover, the new marriage license forms for straight couples would require that spouses are described as ‘bride’ and ‘groom.’
A Senator said that replacing those terms with first and second party as ex-Gov. Steve Beshear has decided in 2015 does not respect the traditional family.
Initially, Kentucky regulators planned only to change legislation to get rid of the bureaucratic hurdles emerging when a county clerk refuses to issues marriage licenses to gay or lesbian couples for reasons of conscience or religion.
But the Republican majority in the Senate changed the legislation to show their respect for the traditional family, as well. Sen. John Schickel explained that having two forms was not an attempt to discriminate anyone. Instead, it is a natural move approved by the vast majority of Kentucky residents who still nurture a deep respect for traditional marriage.
Sen. Morgan McGarvey of the Democratic party tried to change the bill to request one form that would allow people getting married to choose between various options including ‘spouse,’ ‘bride,’ and ‘groom.’ Though McGarvey argued that this option would trim costs and be more efficient, his proposal was not approved.
The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the move saying that it would create a precedent for discrimination. The group’s executive Michael Aldridge noted that different forms would motivate communities to discriminate against the LGBT.
Sen. Stephen West, the initiator of the bill, noted that there is no discrimination set in place since gay couples are not forbidden to put ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ besides their own names. Two Republican senators were against the amendment saying that two forms would just complicate things up. One Democrat said that the new legislation would just ‘reinforce bigotry’ in the Bluegrass State.
Under the revamped legislation, the names of the county clerks that issue the licenses are removed from the form. This could clear future deadlocks when clerks decline to issue marriage license to gay couples.
Sen. West also told reporters that he wasn’t personally against having one form. He explained that the County Clerks Assn requested the multiple form solution because many voters would rather see the traditional bride and groom wording on their licenses.
The bill is currently on its way to the House of Representatives, where the Democratic majority pledged it would pass it after proper adjustments.
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