Religion

Kentucky Clerk Who Denied Gay Marriage Licenses To Face Fines Or Jail

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court deemed same-sex marriage constitutional, states, municipalities and individuals have been fighting back against the ruling. The most recent example of an individual battling the ruling to make national news was a Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to multiple gay and lesbian couples. Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, reportedly cited “God’s authority” in her refusal to issue the licenses. She also refused to resign from her position when faced with both legal and media pressure.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Davis has since been summoned to court to face a federal judge who could impose fines or even send her to jail for her actions. The legal process against Davis has been a quick but complicated one. She was initially sued by both gay and straight couples after she stopped issuing marriage licenses, but she contested a U.S. District Judge’s ruling that her personal faith and “conscience” could interfere with her civic duty. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene, making it illegal for Davis to refuse any additional licenses.

Davis’s continued refusal to issue licenses quickly turned her place of employment into a battleground for the gay marriage debate. Multiple couples demanded that Davis issue them a license, but the clerk repeatedly denied them. On the other end of the debate, supporters held protest signs reading phrases like “We Stand For God & Religious Freedom!”

Throughout all of the media attention and legal proceedings, Davis has remained firm in her convictions. “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience,” Davis said through her lawyers, according to the AP. “It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk. I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience.” The extent of her earthly punishment remains to be seen. 

Sources: The Chicago Tribune, The Associated Press

Image Source: The Associated Press

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