LOUISVILLE — Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway said Friday he is "fine" with a proposal this week by the Kentucky County Clerks' Association to remove the names of clerks from marriage licenses.
He also said he supports in principle a call by House Speaker Greg Stumbo to let Kentucky voters consider a constitutional amendment to expand gambling in the state and would vote for it if it got on the ballot.
Conway's comments came after a speech at the Governor's Local Issues Conference, where he talked about his performance as the state's attorney general during the last eight years.
Earlier this week, Leslie County Clerk James Lewis, chairman of the state clerks' association's elections committee, said his group has "a simple solution" to the controversy caused by three clerks who have denied marriage licenses to all couples since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been sued in federal court for her stance, citing her religious objections to same-sex marriages.
Lewis said the clerks' association proposes keeping the county and county seat listed on the license but removing the name of the person who issues the license. He said the association's officials have met with the state Department for Libraries and Archives, which produces the licenses, about the proposed change.
Conway's opponent in the Nov. 3 election for governor, Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin, has said licenses should be available online and signed by any person authorized to perform marriages.
But Lewis said online licenses could be difficult to police.
Bevin's campaign did not respond Friday to questions about marriage licenses.
Conway also said Friday that he would want the wording of any legislation pertaining to clerks and religious liberties to be "narrowly tailored" so that it would not lead to disagreements similar to those experienced in Indiana earlier this year.
Conway also said he supports allowing Kentuckians to vote at the polls on expanded gambling, though he said he would have to see the details of any specific bill.
A major problem, he said, is that competing groups have not come together to push a constitutional amendment while "parasite casinos" on Kentucky's borders have drawn money from the state.
Stumbo's proposal, which is still being drafted, sets a maximum of seven casino licenses, with one in each of Kentucky's six congressional districts and one awarded at-large.
The casinos could only be in counties with at least 55,000 people, and would be subject to a local-option vote. The Kentucky Lottery Corporation would provide oversight of the industry.
Under Stumbo's plan, 40 percent of the state's revenue from casinos would go to elementary and secondary education; 30 percent to postsecondary education; 20 percent to the state's public retirement systems "or any other public purpose, as the General Assembly may decide"; and 10 percent for the horse racing industry.
The higher-education funding would be contingent on the approval of a public four-year university in the Appalachian region.
A county that authorizes a casino would also be able to charge a local licensing fee and a limited occupational tax on related wages.
Bevin did not respond Friday to questions about Stumbo's proposal but he has said he opposes gambling and would do nothing to try to expand it in Kentucky.
A constitutional amendment approved by the legislature is not subject to a governor's veto.