A bill that would allow for two separate license forms for marriage of a gay couple and a straight one has been passed by the Kentucky Senate on Thursday. The name and title of the county clerk and the deputy clerk will be removed from both the forms.
Under the bill, one license would designate the couple as bride and groom, while the other will refer to them as the “first party” and the “second party.” Senator Stephen West, sponsor of the Senate Bill 5, said that a couple could choose any of the forms, both of which require the applicants to specify their genders.
The senate, which is dominated by the Republicans, primarily amended the bill to show their support towards same-sex marriage. Former Democratic Governor Steve Beshear removed “bride” and “groom” and replaced it with “first party” and “second party” from the marriage license form after gay marriage became legal.
This prompted Republican Senator John Schickel of Union to conclude that any alteration to the terms “bride” and “groom” in a form means disrespecting the tradition.
“Quite frankly, it’s almost disrespectful to the traditional family,” the Global News quoted John Schickel of Union as saying. “That’s why, wisely, we decided to have two forms. That has nothing to do with bigotry, nothing to do with discrimination. It has to do with the vast majority of Kentuckians that respect traditional marriage.”
The bill was declared unconstitutional by opponents only moments after it was approved by the senate with a 30 to eight votes.
“Separate forms for gay and lesbian Kentuckians constitute unequal treatment under the law,” the McClatchy DC quoted Michael Aldridge, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, as saying. “Pure and simple, this bill is motivated by the desire to accommodate discrimination against same-sex couples.”
He added that the Senate is given one line of religious belief priority over another, which can prove to be dangerous later.