June July 2016
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Kentucky Clerk Defies Supreme Court, Denies Same-Sex Couples Marriage Licenses

Kentucky Clerk Defies Supreme Court, Denies Same-Sex Couples Marriage Licenses

Kim Davis, the renegade Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to any couples, claiming it would violate her religious freedom, refused two same-sex couples licenses again this morning, despite repeated losses in federal court and a direct order from the governor, according to The Washington Post.

The clerk cited "God's authority" as her reason for continuing to defy the law.

Shortly after 8 a.m., Davis's office refused licenses to the first two couples to enter the courthouse following yesterday's ruling by the Supreme Court, which denied the clerk a stay of a federal judge's order instructing her to issue the licenses. 

Her defiance prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to file a contempt of court motion today, according to the document as reported the Associated Press. A hearing is set for Thursday in Ashland, Ky., reported blogger Joe My God.

The ACLU filed the motion with U.S. District Judge David Bunning, who initially ruled last month that Davis must issue marriage licenses. The motion makes it clear the same-sex and opposite-sex couples who sued Davis are not looking to have her locked up but rather fined. 

If found guilty of contempt, the plaintiffs have asked that Davis face escalating financial penalties for refusing to perform her job. At present, Davis has continued to receive her regular salary, even though she has refused to issue marriage licenses since the Supreme Court mandated nationwide marriage equality in late June. 

April Miller and Karen Roberts were the first couple rejected, followed by David Ermold and David Moore. Ermold and Moore have been refused a license three times since same-sex marriage became legal in Kentucky and have now filed a federal lawsuit against Davis.

Davis originally hid in her office to avoid reporters and made office staff tell the couples they wouldn't get licenses, but eventually was forced to answer questions, after the couples demanded to see her. After a brief face-to-face confrontation with the couples and news media, Davis threatened to call police unless the demonstrators left the office.

Watch video from Lexington, Ky., television station WKYT, below, of Davis's confrontation with the couples.

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

As The Advocate has previously reported, 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 Monday evening.

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Clark said there was nothing he could do, telling couples the federal courts will have to decide what to do next.

“She will likely be found in contempt, as we know,” he said.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes in.

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