Kentucky Senate applies controversial “separate but equal” policy to marriage

Kentucky state senate passes a “separate but equal” bill to create separate marriage license forms for straight and gay applicants. Supporters claim the bill defends traditional marriage while opponents call it discriminatory.

[DIGEST: Associated Press, Lexington Herald-Leader, Courier-Journal, Fox News, CNN, Slate]

In an effort to appease opponents of same-sex marriage, the Kentucky state senate has passed a bill creating two separate marriage license forms: one for straight couples and another for gays.

Under Senate Bill 5, the marriage license form for heterosexuals will specify “bride” and “groom,” while a new form will use the words “first party” and “second party.”

Senator Stephen West, who sponsored the bill, claims that it “presents a reasonable accommodation to our clerks who do not wish to sign a license because of sincerely held religious beliefs.” West added that couples would have the ability to use either form, though they will be required to note their genders for archival purposes.

Credit: Source.
Sen. Stephen West. Credit: Source.

The bill passed on a vote of 30-8, with two Republican senators opposing it.

Former Democratic Governor Steve Beshear had temporarily altered marriage license forms in Kentucky to use gender-neutral wording last summer, after the Supreme Court voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Beshear’s alteration was met by disapproval

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