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James Yates and William Smith became the first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky, on Friday morning after a defiant county clerk was jailed for refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Kim Davis, the county clerk in Rowan, has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples for weeks, despite a Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriage for all across the U.S. On Thursday Davis was found in contempt of court and jailed, making way for deputy county clerks to issue licenses.
— Mike Wynn (@MikeWynn_CJ) September 4, 2015
When the judge gave Davis a chance to comply with the plan to allow the deputy clerks to issue the licenses — and to purge her contempt charge — Davis refused, effectively choosing jail instead.
First couple has arrived to get a marriage license in Rowan County They are at the counter now. http://pic.twitter.com/YuHcxzdcVn
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) September 4, 2015
Judge Bunning also warned that any couples getting licenses issued from a deputy clerk would do so at their own risk, since the license may not be legally binding without the clerk’s own signature.
As of 8 a.m. Friday, Davis’ deputy clerks are allowed to issue the marriage licenses. However, their legality is unclear without her signature.
This was the sixth attempt by Yates and Smith to get a marriage license, after having been turned away by Davis five times before. They told reporters at the scene that they already had two dates in mind for their wedding day.
As the couple walked outside, supporters chanted "Love has won." But several protesters also gathered in the court house parking lot as well, including Davis’ husband.
Some held signs in support of Davis.
— Michaela MacDonald (@WHAS11Michaela) September 4, 2015
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