Kentucky lawmakers want to create two marriage license forms, one designed for gay couples and another for straight couples, in a move critics say harks back to the “separate but equal” days of the civil rights movement.
One marriage license form would note the “bride” and “groom” and the other form would note “first party” and “second party.” Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Stephen West of Paris said couples, both gay and straight, could use either form.
The bill also removes the name of the county clerk who issued the license and would require couples to note their gender, no matter what form they chose, SUPPOSSEDLY for the benefit of “historians and genealogists”
The proposal cleared a Senate committee Wednesday with bipartisan support.
Chris Hartman, executive director of the Kentucky Fairness Campaign, said he is concerned the bill would offer disparate treatment of gay couples.
“Separate has seldom been equal,” he said.
One solution, offered by Democratic state Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville, was to have one form with a box next to a person’s name to check “bride,” ”groom” or “spouse.”
West’s bill now heads to the Senate floor. Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the House would likely pass its own version, meaning the proposal’s final approval might happen in April.