Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Must Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ky. official really, really must issue marriage licenses, appeals court rules.

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — April Miller and Karen Roberts hugged as the news flashed across their television screen, and their hug turned into a brief slow dance across the living room rug.A federal appeals court has ruled that a Kentucky official who refused to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s historic gay marriage ruling earlier this year must do so while she continues to pursue litigation in federal court.

A Kentucky county clerk who has been outspoken in his opposition to marriage equality now says he’ll “die” fighting to keep same-sex couples from tying the knot. In an Aug. 24 interview on West Virginia’s The Tom Roten Morning Show, Davis vowed to continue to defy the Supreme Court even if it costs him his life, Right Wing Watch reports. “It’s a war on Christianity,” he told Roten. “There is a travesty taking place with that Supreme Court ruling [that] was completely unconstitutional, completely unconstitutional.” “Our law says ‘one man and one woman,’ and that is what I held my hand up and took an oath to and that is what I expected,” he continued. “If it takes my life, I will die … because I believe I owe that to the people that fought so I can have the freedom that I have, I owe that to them today, and you do, we all do.” Previously, Davis had asked Kentucky Gov. Earlier this month, a federal trial court judge said she had to honor the high court’s ruling notwithstanding her personal religious beliefs. “Our form of government will not survive unless we, as a society, agree to respect the U.S.

Steve Beshear to call for a special session of the state legislature so it can pass a new law allowing couples to purchase marriage licenses online in a process similar to obtaining a hunting or fishing license. The other, Kim Davis (no relation) of Rowan County, is currently being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two gay couples and two heterosexual couples for denying them marriage licenses. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky wrote. “Davis is certainly free to disagree with the court’s opinion, as many Americans likely do, but that does not excuse her from complying with it. To hold otherwise would set a dangerous precedent.” Yet, the day after the ruling, one gay couple showed up at Morehead’s Rowan County Courthouse armed with a camera — and was turned away, told that the case was under appeal. “Currently this morning, we are still in litigation, and we are still not issuing marriage licenses,” a court employee told David Moore and his partner David Ermold, who have repeatedly tried to get a license in their home county. “She’s wrong, and these people are cruel to do this to us,” Ermold said. “… We have waited for years to get married. He wanted to wait until it was legal in all the states.” Ermold added: “This is the way gay people are treated in this country. … If nothing comes of this, at least I hope that other people understand that this is wrong.” Now, the court clerk has lost another round in the litigation about the tension between the constitutional protection of both same-sex marriage and religious freedom.

Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit denied it. “It cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court,” the Sixth Circuit wrote. “… There is thus little or no likelihood that the Clerk in her official capacity will prevail on appeal.” Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, a group representing Davis that aims to advance religious freedom, objected to the decision. “It suggests that individuals within a government agency don’t have any independent constitutional rights,” Staver told Louisville’s Courier-Journal. “They don’t lose their constitutional or statutory rights by virtue of working in a public office.” Davis plans to seek a stay of the order requiring to issue licenses from a justice of the U.S. Reached by phone early Thursday, Moore said he and Ermold were “kind of pessimistic” about getting a license, but would “see what happens in the morning and then decide about going down to try again.” He pointed out that the original decision might not go into effect until the end of the month. “This is our home county, this is where we live, this is where we pay taxes,” Moore said. “This is telling someone: ‘We don’t what you here.’” Moore said that, when he asked Davis in person about her refusal to issue a marriage license, she got “kind of emotional” and recounted the story of Adam and Eve. She’s just caught in a very difficult situation.” The attorneys for the plaintiffs would not say if their clients intend to return to Davis’ office Thursday for a license, or whether they will ask the judge to hold her in contempt of court if she refuses them again. “This case is simple.

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