Marriage is hard, it is often said, but who ever could have imagined simply obtaining a license could be so difficult? Overcoming a week of Kim Davis Christian right drama, William Smith Jr. and James Yates were the first to receive a marriage license Friday in Rowan County.
So it came as little surprise the long-term couple were emotional after the moral and legal victory that involved five previous attempts to achieve what was rightfully theirs. The two paid the $35 fee and then embraced and cried with relief alongside family and friends.
Deputy clerk Brian Mason seemed to lack his boss’s qualms as he issued the license, smiling, congratulated the men, and shaking their hands.
“This means at least for this area that civil rights are civil rights and they are not subject to belief,” declared Yates.
Not everyone agreed. Kim Davis’s fourth husband held up a sigh declaring “Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah” as street preachers predicted hell for men unless they repented immediately. Yates and Smith, meanwhile, were planning a happier future: Choosing a wedding date at the house of Yates’ mom and planning a modest ceremony and honeymoon.
Of Kim Davis, Yates expressed no animosity: “I just want the licenses given out. I don’t want her in jail. No one wanted her in jail.”
Except, apparently, Mrs. Davis herself.
Related: The Best Kim Davis Memes (So Far)