Kentucky Gov. Orders Clerk To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses, Clerk Refuses

| by Michael Allen

About 60 county clerks recently signed a letter asking Democrat Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky to hold a special legislative session regarding clerks and same-sex marriage licenses.

Several clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay or straight couples.

The letter claims the clerks are having to choose between doing their job or following their anti-gay, religious beliefs.

Beshear met with one of those government employees today, Casey County clerk Casey Davis, and then released a statement:

This morning, I advised Mr. Davis that I respect his right to his own personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriages. However, when he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution. According to the United States Supreme Court, the Constitution now requires that governmental officials in Kentucky and elsewhere must recognize same-sex marriages as valid and allow them to take place.

One of Mr. Davis' duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme Court now says that the United States Constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender. Mr. Davis' own county attorney has advised him that his oath requires him to do so.

While there are two or three county court clerks still refusing to perform their duties, the rest of the county court clerks are complying with the law regardless of their personal beliefs. The courts and the voters will deal appropriately with the rest.

However, Davis does not plan to issue any same-sex marriage licenses or resign, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Before he met with Beshear, Davis said he was willing to go to prison per his religious beliefs about homosexuality.

"If that's what it takes to express freedom of religion, I'm willing to do this," Davis stated.

Sources: WHAS11 , Lexington Herald-Leader
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore