New marriage license forms protect county clerks’ religious liberty

TrothBy Tom Troth

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has signed Senate Bill 216 into law, which establishes requirements for the issuing of marriage licenses by county clerks. The legislation was enacted to resolve the issue created when Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed for refusing to issue licenses for same-sex marriages because of her sincerely held religious belief in the traditional view of marriage.

In a statement issued at the time of his signature, Gov. Bevin said, “Everyone benefits from this common-sense legislation. … There is no additional cost or work required by our county clerks. They are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty.”

Senate Bill 216 deletes the requirement that a county clerk sign and issue the license, thereby preserving a clerk’s sincerely held religious belief. The legislation also provides for the issuance of a single marriage license form, where the parties can be listed as bride, groom or spouse.

You can read the full story about the legislation at Kentucky Today.

Tom Troth serves as a legislative agent for the Kentucky Baptist Convention and a pastor in Frankfort, Ky.

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