Kentucky lawmakers pass bill for 1 marriage license form

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky lawmakers gave their final blessing Friday to legislation creating one marriage license form for gay and straight couples in an effort to defuse the state’s controversy over gay marriage.

Related: Kim Davis is against Kentucky’s ‘segregated’ same-sex marriage law

The proposal is a response to Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who spent five days in jail last year for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs. Davis said she could not issue the licenses because they had her name on them.

The final version sent to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk cleared the Republican-led Senate on a 36-0 vote Friday. The measure passed the Democratic-controlled House 97-0 a week earlier. Bevin, a social conservative elected last year, endorsed the single-form version, which put the issue on a fast track after it languished for weeks.

“This is progress,” Democratic Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville, one of the bill’s chief advocates, said after the Senate’s final passage. “It says we’re going to treat everyone as equals. People are going to get married in the manner they want to get married and no one is going to be treated differently.”

Lawmakers from both political parties said they hope the bill resolves the issue.

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