Kentucky Clerk Sued for Blocking All Marriages

She says her conscience won't let her issue licenses
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2015 12:31 AM CDT
Kentucky Clerk Sued for Blocking All Marriages
Tim Love, center, holds up the first same sex marriage licence issued in Jefferson County, Kentucky as his partner Larry Ysunza, center right, looks on at the Jefferson County Clerks Office.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Four Kentucky couples are suing a clerk who is refusing to issue gay-marriage licenses—or any marriage licenses at all—following the US Supreme Court decision that same-sex couples have a legal right to marry. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis yesterday on behalf of two homosexual and two heterosexual couples, all of whom were turned away when they tried to get marriage licenses from Davis' office this week. Davis has said that her Christian beliefs prevented her from complying with the Supreme Court decision, so she decided to issue no more marriage licenses to any couple, gay or straight.

Davis is among a handful of judges and clerks who have defied the high court's order, maintaining that the right to "religious freedom" protects them from having to comply. Some Kentucky clerks who at first resisted issuing same-sex marriage licenses changed course this week and agreed to sign them. But Davis stood firm, despite the dozens of protesters outside her office earlier this week. She pledged to never issue a marriage license to a gay couple. "It's a deep-rooted conviction; my conscience won't allow me to do that," she said. "It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life." The lawsuit alleges her policy is unconstitutional and requests an injunction ordering her to begin issuing licenses. (More Kentucky stories.)

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