Kim Davis, the infamous county clerk from Kentucky who is in the news currently for refusing to do her job, is suing the Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for violating her religious freedom by requiring her to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, reports USA Today.
Davis’ original claim to fame was her five-day stint in jail that was a result of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. When the governor sent out a memo requiring all clerks in the state, including Kim, to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim felt that her rights to religious freedom were infringed upon by the governor.
In the lawsuit, Davis claims that the Kentucky governor “took it upon himself… to set and announce new Kentucky marriage license policies and command county clerks to abide by such policies.” The lawsuit Kim is filing also asserts that the request for clerks to abide by the federal ruling was “specifically targeting clerks like Davis who possess certain religious beliefs about marriage.”
Beshear asked a judge on Tuesday in a court document for the case to be thrown out. The governor made the case that Davis’ job has nothing to do with her religious beliefs.
“Simply stated, Davis’ role is a legal one — not a moral or religious one.”
Beshear’s lawyer, Palmer G. Vance, said that the legal action Davis was taking against the governor is a “meritless assault on the rule of law.” Vance believed that even if the Kentucky governor had asked Kim to not adhere to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, it would have been Davis’ responsibility either way because it was required by federal law.
“At issue here are marriage licenses issued by the Office of Rowan County Clerk and not Kim Davis individually, as Kim Davis individually has no authority to issue such licenses. The Office of Rowan County Clerk does not have a right to free exercise of religion.”
In the letter that requested the county clerks of Kentucky to begin issuing the same-sex marriage licenses, the governor stated that, regardless of belief, the clerks must do their jobs. The letter was meant to let the 120 clerks know what the state planned to do in response to the federal court ruling.
“Neither your oath nor the Supreme Court dictates what you must believe. But as elected officials, they do prescribe how we must act.”
Kim believes that with this letter, Beshear “usurped control of Kentucky marriage law,” despite it being the federal marriage law that Kim was being asked to comply with.
A ruling on whether or not Davis’ lawsuit, which Kim originally filed in August, will be able to continue is expected to be made soon. U.S. Judge David Bunning, the same judge who issued a court order to Davis after she refused to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses, is the judge who will make the decision to either continue Davis’ case or throw it out.
After Bunning released Kim from jail, because she had provided the documents she had been required to provide, Davis returned to work only to continue to not do her job by modifying the licenses she was court ordered to issue. Davis altered the documents by using the phrase “pursuant to federal court order,” instead of using her name and office.
Recently, Davis met with Pope Francis in secret during his visit to the United States. As the Inquisitr reported, the pope “thanked Davis for her courage and advised her to stay strong.” When the information about this secret meeting got out, the pope was asked if he thought it was right for people to break the law using the basis of religious freedom. The pope responded that it is a right granted to everyone.
“Conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right… and if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.”
Kim Davis will receive a decision soon on whether or not her case against Governor Steve Beshear will be able to continue.
[Photos Courtesy of Ty Wright/Getty Images]