Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Defies Court Order To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses On Religious Freedom Grounds

A Kentucky county clerk out of Rowan County, Kim Davis, refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple on religious grounds. Davis steadfastly defied an order by a federal judge who previously dismissed her religious freedom argument to justify opting out opting out of the gay marriage license process.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis turned away same-sex couple David Moore and David Ermold when they applied for a Kentucky marriage license several hours after the judge mandated compliance with the controversial law. Deputy clerk Nathan Davis said his office was advised by its attorneys at the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel to continue denying gay marriage licenses until the case is heard by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Kentucky clerk argued that due to her faith and deeply held religious beliefs, she could not issue gay marriage licenses. After the U.S. Supreme Court shocked many when legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, Kim Davis stopped issuing any type of marriage license.

Five gay couples sued Davis over the refusals. U.S. District Judge David. L. Bunning stated that the Rowan County clerk “likely violated the constitutional rights” of constituents. While making a tearful plea in the case, David Ermold called the actions of the Kentucky clerk cruel and said the denial was indicative of the discrimination gay couples face.

The federal judge who denied the religious freedom argument said that Davis adopted a policy that promoted her religious beliefs at the “expense of others.”

Judge Bunning had this to say about the Kentucky county clerk objecting to being forced to do something which did not comply with her religious beliefs.

“Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.”

Judge Bunning said that gay couples in the rural area should not be required to drive 30 minutes to another county to get a marriage license.

“In this rural region of the state [many] do not have the physical, financial, or practical means to travel,” the judge’s ruling also said. Bunning reportedly could have deemed Kim Davis to be “absent” when gay marriage licenses were requested. Such a designation would have permitted a county judge-executive to issue a marriage license in the same courthouse, negating the need to travel.

What do you think about the Kentucky clerk denying gay marriage licenses? Should the Supreme Court have taken the power to decide the same-sex marriage issue away from the people in the states?

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