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Kentucky Expands Religious Freedom Protections


A new law in Kentucky allows county clerks to issue same-sex marriage licenses without compromising their religious beliefs.
The Republican-led Senate passed the law in response to Rowan Country clerk Kim Davis's refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses with her name on them. Last summer, Davis spent five days in jail for her stand.

The measure expands the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act and it bars penalties against those who decline to provide "customized, artistic, expressive, creative, ministerial or spiritual goods or services" to people that would infringe on their "right of conscience" or religious freedoms.      

The law creates one form for gay and straight couples seeking a marriage license and does not bear the clerk's name.

Gov. Matt Bevin said Wednesday his signature brings "statutory finality to the marriage license dilemma." He said it allows county clerks to follow the law without compromising their religious liberty.

 The bill is pending in the Democratic-led House.

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