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Bringing Dramatic Legal Standoff To End, Ky. Clerk Issues Marriage License

In what was an emotional and contentious scene at the Rowan County, Ky., Courthouse this morning, a dramatic legal standoff came to an end, when a gay couple was issued a marriage license.

James Yates and William Smith, who had tried this five times before, arrived at the courthouse just as the sun started peeking out from under the mountains on the horizon.

They walked past protesters — condemning them and cheering them — and entered the clerk's office.

Kim Davis, the county clerk who has made national news by defying the Supreme Court had spent the night in jail after being held in contempt. So, Yates and Smith walked up to Deputy Clerk Brian Mason.

Mason was all business. He checked their licenses asked them if they were related, took their $35 and in about five minutes, handed them an envelope and said, "Congratulations."

Yates and Smith had become the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license.

They exited to chants of, "Love has won. Love has won."

"I don't want her in jail," Yates said, about Davis. "No one wanted her in jail. We just wanted the licenses given out."

He grew emotional.

"At least for this area, [this] means civil rights are civil rights and they're not subject to beliefs."

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