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Marriage Equality

Judge: Ky. County Must Issue Marriage Licenses to All Couples

Judge: Ky. County Must Issue Marriage Licenses to All Couples

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After an antigay clerk dug in her heels, a U.S. district judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering Rowan County, Ky., to stop denying marriage licenses to couples.

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UPDATE: Another gay couple was turned away in violation of the federal order. Details here.

After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June, Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis refused to abide. She would not issue licenses to same-sex couples -- or opposite-sex couples.

Davis's refusal complicated things for anyone seeking a marriage license in the tiny, northern Kentucky county. So four couples -- two gay, two straight -- took Davis to court, and now they've won.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled that Davis's religious beliefs do not exempt her from performing her duties as a government official; she will have to provide marriage licenses.

In his ruling, Bunning wrote that Davis "is refusing to recognize the legal force of U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence in performing her duties" and her "religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk." Read Bunning's full ruling here.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.