A county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds, risking jail time or fines as she continues to ignore orders by courts and the governor.
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’s office denied licenses to several couples on Tuesday morning in spite of a supreme court order on Monday night that meant she had to comply with a lower court decision ordering her to issue marriage licenses.
A federal judge has ordered her to appear on Thursday morning to explain why she should not be jailed for contempt.
One of the couples who attempted to apply for a license on Tuesday confronted Davis inside the office.
“Under whose authority are you not issuing marriage licenses today?” he asked.
“Under God’s authority,” Davis said.
She then returned to her office, with the doors and blinds closed, and issued a statement refusing to resign:
“To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision,” her statement said. “I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk. I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience.”
Davis has said that recognizing such marriages is against her Apostolic Christian faith and decided to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and straight couples in an effort to avoid the June supreme court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
Last month, a federal judge ordered Davis to abide by the supreme court’s June decision in response to a suit filed by two same-sex couples and two straight couples. Kentucky governor Steven Beshear has also ordered all county clerks to comply with the ruling.
The ACLU of Kentucky, which represents the four couples who filed the initial lawsuit, filed a contempt motion with US district judge David Bunning on Tuesday morning.
The request, filed on behalf of a couple that was refused a marriage license on Tuesday, asks for the court to impose financial penalties on Davis.
The Rowan County attorney’s office said that a contempt of court hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 11am. Davis and her entire staff have been ordered to appear.
By continuing to refuse to issue licenses, Davis risks being held in contempt of court by a federal judge, a charge that can come with fines or jail time.
This seems to be making the rounds in the media and lol. Lady should get fired for not doing her job then likely sued to oblivion. Jail time is a little too harsh.