Kit Steinkellner
September 05, 2015 10:53 am

If you’ve browsed the news lately (heck, if you’ve been on your Facebook feed lately), then you’ve probably heard quite a bit about Kim Davis, the Rowan County, KY clerk in charge of issuing marriage licenses who has refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples, citing her religious beliefs as the reason behind her refusal.

On Thursday, we learned that a federal judge jailed Davis for violating the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in June. Starting yesterday, the Rowan County, Kentucky court house began following the law by issuing marriage licenses to ALL couples.

Today, we want to celebrate James Yates, 41, and William Smith, 33, who yesterday became the first same-sex couple to receive their marriage license from the Rowan County Clerk’s Office.

The couple tried several times to get their marriage license this summer, and, under Davis’ decree, were repeatedly denied their lawful request. “We’ve been together for almost 10 years,” Smith told ABC News in late August. “He proposed a day after the initial ruling on marriage equality by the Supreme Court on June 26th. On June 27th James got down on one knee and I said yes.”

Smith called repeatedly being denied their marriage license a “nerve-wracking” experience that left the couple feeling “humiliated.” Smith and Yates had hoped to throw a wedding this summer, but because they were determined to acquire their marriage license in their own county, the celebration had to be put on hold.

“We love each other very much, and we already consider ourselves married,” Smith explained to ABC News. “We just think this is wrong and we don’t want this to happen to future couples.”

Yesterday, the couple was victorious in receiving their license, and were the first same-sex couple to get their license to boot.

“I think it shows that equality is everywhere,” Smith told the New York Times, re: the marriage license the couple now held in their hands.

Though they could have gone to another county and received their license from a law-abiding clerk, Smith explained that it was important to the couple that they receive their license from their own courthouse.

“…this is where we live,” he explained to the NY Times. “This is where we pay taxes. This is our home.”


Good news! Love wins in Kentucky despite clerk’s protests

Jimmy Kimmel asks kids to explain same-sex marriage. Just watch.

Image via Twitter