The Kentucky county clerk who just asked the Supreme Court for a special exemption so she wouldn’t have to sign the marriage licenses of same-sex couples, nonetheless signed off on the marriage of a trans man and pansexual woman in February, report several media outlets in Morehead, Ky.
Davis, who is being represented by the right-wing Liberty Counsel, a certified anti-LGBT hate group, continues to contend that her Christian beliefs preclude her from licensing same-sex marriages, and her staff have ceased licensing any marriages in order to avoid serving same-sex couples.
On Friday, Liberty Counsel attorneys filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court, claiming that requiring Davis to issue and sign a marriage license for a same-sex couple would be a “searing act of validation” that “would forever echo in her conscience.” A federal judge’s order earlier this month that Davis obey the law and license same-sex unions “demands that she either fall in line (her conscience be damned) or leave office (her livelihood and job for three-decades in the clerk’s office be damned),” claims the suit.
But as an estimated 100 pro-equality residents rallied outside the Rowan County Clerk’s Office yesterday in Morehead, Ky., one couple came forward to share with media how the defiant clerk has already licensed at least one marriage between members of the LGBT community.
Camryn Colen, a transgender man, and his pansexual wife, Alexis Colen, applied for a marriage license in Rowan County on February 26, and Davis signed the license.
The couple told the Ashland Independent that clerks did not ask to see Camryn’s birth certificate, which he said still identifies him as female. Alexis provided her driver’s license and birth certificate for inspection at the clerk’s office, the couple explained.
“I saw Kim Davis, but I didn’t talk to her,” Camryn told the Independent of the night he and his wife obtained their marriage license. “We went in there just as any other straight couple would. That night we had an official do a tiny, little testimony.”
Camryn, an Army veteran, began his transition in 2010 and legally changed his name in 2013, but has yet to update his Ohio birth certificate; the process to do so is often costly and time-consuming, and the new parents, with a daughter who is now six months old, presumably had other priorities.
The couple presented their marriage license and Camryn’s birth certificate to Courier-Journal reporter Mike Wynn, stressing that they wanted to step forward earlier, but were concerned about the safety of their young daughter. The 30-year-old husband and his 21-year-old wife, however, said that since they’ve come forward, they have received “massive” support from the community.
After seeing Davis deny several same-sex couples requesting marriage licenses, and subsequently order her county clerks to deny marriage licenses to all couples after the June Supreme Court decision — then shutter the clerk's office on Saturday upon learning about the planned protest — the young family said they couldn’t stay in the shadows.
“Stuff has just escalated and gotten ridiculous, and we decided that we were going to come forward with it,” Alexis told the Courier-Journal.
“We’re not doing it for us,” Camryn told the Independent. “We’re married. That’s for us. We have a daughter. That’s for us. We’re doing it for the rest of the community. We’re going to prove to Kim Davis that she can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Watch the Courier-Journal’s interview with the Colens below.