Ky. looks at separate marriage licenses for gays

Posted at 5:07 PM, Feb 10, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky lawmakers have proposed two marriage license forms, one designed for gay couples and another for straight couples.

One form would note the "bride" and "groom" while another form would note "first party" and "second party."

Bill sponsor Sen. Stephen West, R-Paris said couples, both homosexual and heterosexual, could use either form.

The forms would not include the name of the county clerk who issued the license and it would require couples to note their gender.

The proposal has been met with bipartisan support, coming five months after Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed for refusing to issue licenses for same-sex marriages after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage.

But Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville objected, calling it disparate treatment of gay couples.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote that Davis has allowed her deputies to issue marriage licenses and dismissed a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to consider ordering her to reissue licenses she altered to remove her name.

Bunning on Tuesday found that request to be "moot;" he said the altered licenses are valid.

Last month, federal judge awarded a team of Kentucky attorneys more than $1 million for their role in the landmark United States Supreme Court case that struck down bans on same-sex marriage.

In 2014, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Attorney General Jack Conway refused to appeal. But former Gov. Steve Beshear hired outside attorneys to continue defending the ban.

The case, and others like it, made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage last summer.

The state will have to pick up the $1.1 million tab.