Despite High Court Ruling, Kentucky Clerk Denies Marriage Licenses
Despite a Supreme Court ruling that compelled a Rowan County clerk in Kentucky to give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim Davis refused to comply once again on Tuesday morning by denying marriage licenses to everyone.
Ryland Barton, a reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, reports that Davis said she made the decision "under God's authority."
According to Dan Griffin, a reporter for WSAZ-TV, Davis also said she was waiting for the result of her appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
As we've reported, a lower court had ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses. She appealed and then went all the way up to the Supreme Court to ask that the lower court's decision be put aside while she waited for the 6th Circuit to issue an opinion on the matter.
On Monday, the Supreme Court denied that stay, essentially ordering Davis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Davis could be held in contempt of court.
Outside the courthouse, supporters and detractors of Davis gathered to protest:
Update at 7 p.m. ET. Up To Courts, Governor Says
"The future of the Rowan County Clerk is now in the hands of the courts," Gov. Steve Beshear says. Adding that county clerks issue marriage licenses by state law, he says, "I have no legal authority to relieve her of her statutory duty by executive order or to remove her from office."
Update at 1:35 p.m. A Heaven Or Hell Decision:
NPR member WFPL, which is live blogging this story, reports that Davis is calling this decision one between "heaven and hell."
In a written statement, she said in part:
"To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God's Word. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution, and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our history is filled with accommodations for people's religious freedom and conscience. I want to continue to perform my duties, but I also am requesting what our Founders envisioned – that conscience and religious freedom would be protected."
Update at 12:38 p.m. ET. Hearing Set For Thursday:
During a conference call with attorneys, Judge David L. Bunning called a hearing on the plaintiff's motion to hold Davis in contempt of court.
In a motion filed with the court, the plaintiffs are asking Bunning not to send Davis to jail but instead begin fining her, until she complies.
According to a spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union, Bunning gave lawyers for Davis until end of business tomorrow to file their own motion.
Update at 9:17 a.m. ET. Video Of The Confrontation:
After the first same-sex couple in line asked Davis for a marriage license, a tense confrontation ensued.
Davis said she was not issuing marriage licenses, and the men asked her under what authority.
"Under God's authority," Davis replied.
Davis asked the crowd to leave, and they asked her to call the police.
"We're not leaving until we have a license," one of the men said.
"Then you're going to have a long day," Davis said as she walked away.
Here's video from Hillary Thornton of WKYT-TV:
(Part 3 was just a shorter version of Part 4.)
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