Attorneys for Rowan Clerk Kim Davis applaud marriage license bill

Published: Apr. 14, 2016 at 2:59 PM EDT
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Attorneys for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis on Thursday applauded a bill that removes a county clerk's name and title from marriage licenses.

The bill, signed into law Wednesday by the governor, passed the State House with a 97-0 vote followed by a 36-0 vote in the State Senate. The legislation will take effect this summer and Gov. Matt Bevin said his signature on the bipartisan legislation brings "statutory finality to the marriage license dilemma."

The measure was a response to Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, represented by Liberty Counsel, who spent five days in jail last year for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs. Davis would not issue the licenses because they had her name on them.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said the First Amendment "guarantees Kim and every American the free exercise of religion, even when they are working for the government."

"County clerks should not be forced to license something that is prohibited by their religious convictions," Staver said. "To provide a license is to provide approval and places a legal authority behind the signature. We celebrate this legislative victory. County clerks are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty."