The first couple to get married in Kentucky, at a time when the state is facing a legal standoff with the federal government over gay marriage rights, have both decided to have their marriages officiated by a religious group, according to a news release from the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.
The couples have decided to join together with the Kentucky Human Rights Commission, which handles the issue of issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
The couples said the decision to join forces was “the right one.”
“Our marriage was about much more than the mere declaration of a marriage.
It was a lifelong commitment that affirmed and reinforced the dignity and worth of each of us,” said Rachel Hines, an attorney with the ACLU of Kentucky, in a statement.
“When we came to Kentucky in 2014, we didn’t think we’d have a choice but to get involved.
But now, we are so grateful that we did.”
The couples, who are both from Nashville, Tenn., met at the same local bar and became engaged in October 2015.
After a short honeymoon, they were married at a ceremony on Feb. 9, and Hines said she is “heartbroken” to have been forced to go through the ceremony because she felt her faith in God was violated.
“I believe that the marriage is a sacred institution that should be recognized and celebrated by everyone,” Hines told reporters.
“The Kentucky Human Relations Commission is an institution that’s supposed to protect the rights of the LGBT community and that was violated.”
Kentucky is one of a handful of states that allows same-sex couples to get marriage licenses.
But the state has no legal definition for what constitutes a marriage license.
The Supreme Court has ruled that states may not define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
In addition to the ACLU and the Kentucky couple, other plaintiffs in the case are the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the ACLU.