Lawmakers in Kentucky are seeking to implement a new measure that would create two different marriage license forms: one for heterosexual couples and another for same-sex couples.
Opponents are criticizing the move, calling it reminiscent of the “separate but equal” laws that were in place in the era of discrimination that led up to the civil rights movement.
One marriage form would have “bride” and “groom” fields, while the other form mentions the “first party” and the “second party.”
In addition, this piece of legislation would require the parties to indicate their gender — a move that lawmakers say is to benefit historians in the future.
The law also calls for the removal of a field that indicates the name of the county clerk who issues the license.
The issuance of same-sex marriage licenses has been a hot topic of debate in Kentucky, following the arrest of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. Davis reportedly refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, citing her religious beliefs as the basis for her refusal.
Davis, who identifies as a born-again Christian, was jailed for five nights on charges of contempt of court as a result of her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Ultimately, Davis did issue the marriage licenses, but she omitted her name and title from the forms.
Following this incident, the U.S. Supreme Court opted to legalize gay marriage on a national level, although a number of individual states have still yet to implement laws to legalize gay and lesbian marriages.