BREAKING: Supreme Court: Kentucky Clerk Must Issue Marriage Licenses
The U.S. Supreme Court today denied Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis’s request for a stay of a federal judge’s order for her to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples, meaning she and her staff must comply beginning Tuesday or face fines and possible jail time, the Associated Press reports.
Davis, who says same-sex marriage conflicts with her Christian beliefs, has been refusing to issue any marriage licenses since shortly after the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality. Four couples, two same-sex and two opposite-sex, sued her, and earlier this month U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled that she must perform all the duties of her job, and he issued an order enjoining her from turning away couples seeking licenses.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last week turned down her request for a stay of his order, meaning that she would be required to start granting licenses today. Her lawyers, with the right-wing group Liberty Counsel, filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court Friday. Justice Elena Kagan, who oversees appeals from the Sixth Circuit, referred the appeal to the full court, which turned it down without comment, according to the AP.
Davis is “going to have to think and pray about her decision overnight. She certainly understands the consequences either way,” Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver told the AP. “She’ll report to work tomorrow and face whatever she has to face.”
Meanwhile, a couple who had been turned away from her office when seeking a marriage license are seeking to have her charged with official misconduct; the attorney for Rowan County has referred the case to the state’s attorney general. And Davis has sued Gov. Steve Beshear, accusing him of violating her religious freedom.
Today both marriage equality supporters and opponents rallied outside Davis’s office, as they have for several weeks, the AP reports. The anti-equality activists sang the hymn “I Am a Child of God” — and the pro-equality group responded, “So are we.”