Clerks now refusing same-sex marriage requests

With County Clerks refusing same-sex marriage requests, the fight is not over for those celebrating the marriage equality approved by the Federal courts.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky shut the blinds to her office upon arrival due to the crowds of protestors outside of her office who chanted, “Do your job!”

Davis has not declared whether or not she will stay in her current position and stand up for her personal beliefs or resign. But she was clear in saying that she will never in her lifetime give a marriage license to a gay couple, according to

“No man can put a harness on his conscience. That is protected by the Kentucky Constitution, the very Constitution I took an oath to uphold,” she said.

On the same morning in Morehead, Kentucky, a county clerk denied a lesbian couple services who asked for a marriage license.

Davis is not alone. Other county officials, specifically in the Bible Belt, have expressed repulsion of entertaining the idea to enable same-sex couples to get married. They are therefore directly defying the U.S. Supreme Court and have decided to deny a marriage license to anyone, straight or gay.

Judges and clerks the same across Texas and Alabama have decided to do the same. Their argument sits on the state laws that state they “may” issues marriage licenses, which they have concluded also means that they “may not” if so they choose.

The nationwide ruling that legalized gay marriages has left a lack of specificity around personal religious objections. Officials are now generalizing asserting a much broader right claiming that their choice to turn away same-sex couples is not discriminatory if in fact they completely take their government offices out of the marriage business completely.

Immediately after Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear ordered all clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, many of them firmly disobeyed the order by not only their Governor, but by the Supreme Court, on a basis of their faith and the American promise of religious liberty and free speech.

“It’s a deep-rooted conviction, my conscience won’t allow me to do that,” Davis said after refusing a license to April Miller and Karen Roberts, who have been together for 11 years and were Rowan County’s first gay couple to request one. “It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life.”

The couple, Miller and Roberts, are seeking counsel and have contacted the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky who have offered to represent any couple that has been refused a license to marry.

“This is where we live,” Miller said. “We pay taxes here, we vote here. And we want to get married here.”

In Texas, the ruling has created an opposite effect. Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement saying that clerks in fact can refuse gay couples on religious grounds and that there are many private lawyers that are available to defend those public officials.

One man was recorded saying that homosexuality was an “abomination” and a “serious, serious sin.” The man, Dennis Buschman, who carried a Bible as he led a half-dozen people supporting the clerk’s defiance, also said, “Our country is on the wrong path, we as a people no longer exalt God.”



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