Gov. Matt Bevin intended to protect Christian county clerks who didn’t want homosexual “marriage” licenses to be issued under their names, and that protection has been codified into law. He signed a bill last week to remove clerks’ names from marriage license forms.
“We now have a single form that accommodates all concerns,” the governor wrote in an e-mail statement to Reuters. “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.”
Now clerks in Kentucky won’t have to choose between losing their jobs, going to jail, or performing a job function that violates their conscience.
Kim Davis, a county clerk, had religious objections to issuing such licenses under her name. She refused to issue licenses at all. A judge ordered her to be locked up for contempt of court, later ordering her release, for refusing to do so.
“The First Amendment guarantees Kim and every American the free exercise of religion, even when they are working for the government,” Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver said in a statement. “County clerks should not be forced to license something that is prohibited by their religious convictions. To provide a license is to provide approval and places a legal authority behind the signature. We celebrate this legislative victory. County clerks are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty.”
The pro-marriage Gov. Bevin, elected last November, is also pro-life. He strengthened Kentucky’s informed-consent abortion law, shut down and sued a Planned Parenthood clinic for violations, and sued a second clinic.