Kentucky gay couples receive marriage licenses

Washington, Sep 5 (IANS) A county in Kentucky state has started issuing marriage licences to gay couples after the county clerk was jailed for refusing to do so, a media report said on Saturday.

William Smith Jr. and James Yates on Friday became the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Rowan county. It was their sixth attempt to procure the licence, CNN reported.

“We’re just really happy right now to finally get married and have it recognised here,” Yates, who proposed to Smith this year after a 10-year relationship, said shortly before getting the license.

Dozens of supporters of same-sex marriage chanted “love has won” as they exited the building.

But county Clerk Kim Davis sent word from the jail that she considers marriage licenses void unless she approves them, her lawyer Mat Staver said.

“They are not worth the paper they are written on,” he said.

Davis had refused to give licenses to same-sex couples on grounds that issuing the licenses would violate her Christian convictions against same-sex marriage.

A federal judge ordered her to jail on Thursday, ruling she was in contempt of court for refusing to issue the licenses and not allowing her deputies to distribute them for her.

US District Judge David Bunning said Davis would remain behind bars until she complies. Five of her deputies agreed Thursday to issue marriage licenses in her absence.

On June 26, the US deemed same-sex marriage legal nationwide when the Supreme Court ruled that state-level bans are unconstitutional.

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