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Beshear says no to special session on same-sex marriage; everyone ‘take a deep breath’


There is no need to call a special session on issues surrounding same-sex marriage, Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement released Tuesday night.

Further, he said, “It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath.”

Beshear’s statement comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Earlier Tuesday, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) said a special session is needed after some county clerks stopped issuing marriage licenses in response to the ruling.

His full statement follows:

Gov. Steve Beshear

Gov. Steve Beshear

“There are obviously strong feelings on both sides of this issue, but the United States Supreme Court has spoken and same-sex marriage is now legal in Kentucky and the rest of the United States. Regardless of whatever their personal feelings might be, the overwhelming majority of county clerks are following the law and carrying out their duty to issue marriage licenses regardless of gender, and the courts will deal appropriately with the two or three clerks who are acting otherwise.

“Same-sex couples are now being married in Kentucky and such marriages from other states are now being recognized under Kentucky law. This administration continues to identify statutes which must now be interpreted in a different way and is making the appropriate changes. For example, the Department of Revenue has put out new guidance in the area of taxation and the Administrative Office of the Courts has issued new guidance on changing names on driver’s licenses.

“It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath. There is no need to spend $60,000 a day of taxpayers’ dollars calling a special session of the General Assembly, and therefore I will not be calling a special session on this topic. If there are any minor changes needed to clarify the language of statutes, any such changes can be made in the 2016 legislative session in January.”


From Office of the Governor

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