The county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses since the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land earlier this summer is still refusing to do so, citing her religious beliefs.
County Clerk Kim Davis is standing her ground even after the nation’s highest court on Aug. 31 slapped down her request for a stay on a lower court’s decision ordering her to issue the licenses. That decision came after Davis refused to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the country.
On Sept. 1, a same-sex couple, April Miller and Karen Roberts, were the first to walk into the clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license. They and other applicants were promptly turned away.
Davis has not issued any marriage licenses since the decision, citing “God’s authority” for the refusal, according to the Washington Post. Davis says the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage infringes on her religious liberty to practice her Christian faith, which forbids the practice. Both protesters and those supporting Davis gathered around the Rowan County Courthouse, where the clerk’s office is located, Sept. 1.
Davis’ refusal will land her in court. She and her deputies in the clerk’s office are scheduled to appear Sept. 3 before Judge David Bunning for a contempt of court hearing in U.S. District Court. Davis could face fines or jail time for her refusal to issue licenses, though lawyers seeking contempt charges have indicated they’re not looking to send her to prison. Instead, they argue in a motion submitted to the court that since Davis is receiving payment from the commonwealth of Kentucky to do a job she refuses to do, the court should impose fines on her that will compel her to perform her duties.