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Same-sex couples unable to wed in small county

A dispute over the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses may of interest to Oklahoma residents. Despite the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriages nationwide, same-sex couples in one Kentucky county are still unable to get married. Gay and lesbian couples are being turned down for marriage licenses in Rowan County because the county clerk refuses to issue them.

About 23,000 people live in Rowan County, and the area has just one county clerk. The county clerk believes that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate her freedom to practice her religion. She is a Christian who believes that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Two same-sex couples have sued the county clerk of Rowan County arguing that their constitutional rights have been violated by her refusal to issue marriage licenses. The case was heard in federal court, and a U.S. District judge ordered the Rowan County clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, the county clerk appealed that decision, and the judge delayed his decision pending the appeal. The county clerk's attorneys are arguing that she is a religious objector similar to a state official who refuses to participate in an execution.

Same-sex couples are still facing challenges in some counties where officials refuse to follow the law. A person who is going through a same-sex divorce may want to have representation from an attorney to ensure that none of their rights are violated during court proceedings. It may be especially important for a divorcing spouse to have legal representation if there are child custody issues, as these issues can be more complex in same-sex divorce cases.

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