In Kentucky, county employees will no longer be required to suffer the indignity of their names signifying love and equality. This is the legacy of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.
Davis, infamously, railed against the Supreme Court’s order legalizing gay marriage this summer by refusing to issue marriage licenses altogether, categorizing her arguably bigoted views as a religious exemption. She was jailed over her contempt of court and the argument made its way to the state’s highest court, where a judge ruled Davis would have to issue the licenses, despite the evident discomfort she felt signing off on equal rights for gay couples.
Because until Tuesday, Kentucky law required the clerk’s name be written on the license—a statute Davis would later attempt to circumvent by illegally altering the licenses. Even so, for a time, it seemed she might be forced to do the right thing.
But though Davis lost the war, she did, in the end, win a battle: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, issued an executive order Tuesday changing the forms. The new licenses, Bevins’ office announced, will instead cater to the state’s most intolerant employees. Via UPI:
“To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, Executive Order 2015-048 directs the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to issue a revised marriage license form to the offices of all Kentucky county clerks. The name of the county clerk is no longer required to appear on the form,” Bevins’ office said in a statement.
A beautiful gift for Kim Davis—a tacit endorsement of her discrimination. Plenty of people hold sincere beliefs. The Son of Sam sincerely believed that his neighbor’s dog was ordering to kill people. Doesn’t mean we should legalize murder.