NOM BLOG

Kentucky Clerk Continues to Fight for Her Right to Refuse to Issue Marriage Licenses

 

Kim Davis, a Rowan County Clerk, has been granted a temporary stay on account of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Until the case is resolved, Davis is not compelled by law to wed same-sex couples. If she loses her case against the state though, Davis could face fines and possibly jail for contempt of court. Kate Scanlon of The Daily Signal, explains Davis’ objection:

ThinkstockPhotos-451417063In an interview with The Daily Signal, Davis’ lawyer, Roger Gannam, senior litigation counsel at Liberty Counsel, an organization that provides free legal assistance in religious liberty cases, said that Bunning’s temporary stay is a “minor reprieve” for his client.

Gannam said that Rowan County’s marriage licenses are issued “under her name and her authority, so that is her religious objection.”

Gannam argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling requires only that states treat same-sex marriage as they do traditional marriage. Under Kentucky law, marriage licenses issued in any county are valid statewide. Therefore, there are over a hundred offices where the plaintiffs could obtain a marriage license.

“It’s certainly not the case that the plaintiffs are unable to get married.”

Gannam said that Davis’s religious beliefs should be accommodated.

. . .

Roger Severino, the director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, said, “When North Carolina faced a similar problem with its clerks, it passed a law allowing civil servants with religious objections to recuse themselves from all marriage licensing functions while at the same time ensuring that every qualified couple would still receive a timely marriage license.”

“It was a win-win and shows that the conscience rights of civil servants can and should be respected even after the Supreme Court’s sweeping redefinition of marriage,” Severino said.

As the States move forward from the Obergefell decision, judges and legislators need to treat everyone with equality. We must uphold the First Amendment and allow those issuing marriage license to recuse themselves when they feel they could personally breach their deeply held religious beliefs.

For original article, please visit The Daily Signal.