Kentucky County Issues First Same-Sex Marriage License to James Yates and William Smith

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The office of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis issued Friday its first marriage license to a same-sex couple.

James Yates and William Smith, whom Davis had previously rejected five times, became the first couple to receive licenses from the clerk's office. Photos taken from the scene revealed the emotion of the moment.

The ceremony was months in the making. After the Supreme Court's decision in June legalized same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, most clerks around the country began issuing marriage licenses. However, a few, like Davis, refused, citing religious beliefs. After weeks of denial, the American Civil Liberties Union sued Davis, who was ultimately jailed for contempt of court but has stood steadfast in her belief. Her deputies began issuing the licenses, over her objections, in her absence. 

Now incarcerated, her case has sparked reaction from Republican presidential candidates. Some, like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, defended Davis on the grounds that she should not be imprisoned for her religious beliefs. Others' like Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, urged her to follow the law. 

For now, one of Davis' deputies is granting the licenses ad hoc under the title "Marriage License Deputy."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.