Rowan County deputy clerk Brian Mason, left, shakes hands with James Yates, and his partner William Smith Jr., after issuing their their marriage license at the Rowan County Judicial Center in Morehead, Ky., Sept. 4, 2015.
Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo


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James Yates and William Smith Jr. were the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky, this morning, while clerk Kim Davis remains in jail for failing to follow a judge’s orders to issue the licenses.
Smith and Yates, of Morehead, Kentucky, have been together for nearly a decade. They arrived at 8:05 a.m., five minutes after the office opened, and became the first same-sex couple to get their marriage license in Rowan County’s history.
After the men paid the $35.50 fee, deputy clerk Brian Mason said, “Congratulations.” They said this was their sixth attempt to get a license.
Yates rushed to embrace his mother in a long hug.
When Yates and Smith exited the courthouse, they were met with cheers from about 35 supporters, chanting, “Love wins.”

Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo

PHOTO: James Yates, left, hugs his partner William Smith Jr., after receiving their marriage license at the Rowan County Judicial Center in Morehead, Ky., Sept. 4, 2015.

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Clerk Davis was jailed Thursday after a judge found her in contempt of court for her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. But five of her deputies said under oath they would comply with the court’s order to issue the licenses.
Davis’ stay in jail has not made her reconsider her stance on issuing same-sex marriage licenses, her attorney Matthew Staver told ABC News.
“One thing about Kim, she may be incarcerated behind the jail bars but her conscience remains free,” Staver said. “And just knowing Kim, she’s made a decision and she can’t violate that conscience and she can’t have this collision with her religious convictions.”
Yates said, “I just want the licenses given out. I don’t want her in jail. No one wanted her in jail.”
Yates and Smith plan to wed in a small ceremony at Yates’ parents’ home.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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