Just days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, Kentucky made national news when its county clerks defied the decision by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And less than a month after the decision, Kentucky lawmakers have made the news again by pre-filing legislation (BR 101, BR 102) for the 2016 session that would allow government officials to refuse to issue or record marriage licenses and refuse to solemnize marriages of same-sex couples
Kentucky is not the first state to propose such legislation. Last session, we tracked more than a dozen bills that would have allowed government officials to refuse to solemnize a marriage or issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Read more about last year’s bills here.) And this was prior to the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell. Now that marriage equality is the law, we expect that the number of state legislators around the country who propose comparable legislation in the 2016 session will only increase. We will be fighting those efforts.