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Ky. clerk’s office will issue marriage licenses Friday — without the clerk

Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis argues with David Moore and David Ermold, after they were denied a marriage license at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead on September 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of USA Today, via The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, photo by Tim Webb
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis argues with David Moore and David Ermold, after they were denied a marriage license at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead on September 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of USA Today, via The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, photo by Tim Webb

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis argues with David Moore and David Ermold, after they were denied a marriage license at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead on September 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of USA Today, via The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, photo by Tim Webb

ASHLAND, Ky. — Five of six deputies in the office of a Kentucky county clerk found in contempt of court and held Thursday (Sept. 3)  for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples say they will process the paperwork starting Friday.

But Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, whom U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning has placed in the custody of U.S. marshals said through her lawyers she will not authorize any of her employees to issue licenses in her absence.

“My conscience will not allow it,” Davis said earlier to Bunning. “God’s moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties.”

Among her deputies, the holdout was Davis’ son, Nathan Davis. Yet the other deputy clerks had reservations, some based on religion, as Davis has maintained, others with questions about their legal authority to sign off on forms without the elected official’s consent.

Kim Davis’ lawyers also called into question whether any licenses issued in her absence would be legal.

But Bunning said couples will have to decide whether to take that risk on their own. He indicated that he would lift the contempt charge against the defiant county clerk if deputies began issuing marriage licenses but said he was reluctant to release Kim Davis too quickly because of the possibility that she would stop the process and again try to go through the courts in a sort of ping-pong match.

Allowing Kim Davis, who previously has said she is an Apostolic Christian, to defy a court order could create a ripple effect among other county clerks, Bunning said. Two other clerks in the state also had stopped issuing marriage licenses but have not had lawsuits filed against them.

“Her good-faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” said Bunning, who said he also has deeply held religious beliefs. “Oaths mean things.”

As word of Kim Davis’ arrest became known in the crowd that numbered more than 100 protesters outside the courthouse, cheers and chants erupted.

“I’m glad the court sent a strong message that you have to follow the law,” said Timothy Love of Kentucky, one of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage.

Those supporting the Rowan County clerk decried the decision, with one man falling on the courthouse steps to pray.

“It’s very unjust,” said the Rev. Randy Smith of Morehead, Ky., where Kim Davis’ office is located. “Religious liberty has been trampled on today.”

Lawyers inside the courtroom with the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, which is representing Davis, argued that she met a legal test for protection under federal law because her convictions created a “factual inability” to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

But lawyers for the couples repeatedly pressed the county clerk to admit that her policy is the result of a personal choice.

Bunning agreed and said fines for Davis, who makes $80,000 a year, would not be enough to ensure that she would follow his orders. He also raised concerns that supporters, whom she said are raising money for her, would pay any fine he levied, hampering its force.

“I don’t do this lightly,” he said. “It’s necessary in this case.”

Chris Hartman, head of the Fairness Campaign advocacy group, said he thought the judge would levy fines but hoped that jailing Kim Davis would act as a strong deterrent for others who might refuse to follow the law.

Some thought the move could turn her into a martyr among gay-marriage opponents.

Though the clerk was tearful as she testified how she became a Christian in 2011 following the death of her mother-in-law, she appeared straight faced as marshals led her out of the courtroom.

Outside, each side continued to clash.

Ashley Hogue, a secretary from Ashland, held a sign outside the courthouse that read, “Kim Davis does not speak for my religious beliefs.”

“This is so ugly,” she said, wiping away tears. “I was unprepared for all the hate.”

Demonstrator Charles Ramey, a retired steelworker, downplayed the vitrol.

“We don’t hate these people,” he said. “We wouldn’t tell them how to get saved if we hated them.”

READ: Pope Francis eyes a bargain, buys new glasses in Roman outing

When four couples — two gay and two straight — filed suit against her for refusing to issue marriage licenses after the June Supreme Court ruling, she argued that they could be served in other Kentucky counties. Bunning, son of GOP Sen. Jim Bunning who retired from the U.S. Senate in 2011, told her that she or her deputies must issue the licenses but stayed his order until this past Monday as she filed an appeal with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

When that stay expired, appeals court judges declined to renew it. And when she asked the Supreme Court to weigh in Monday, justices in Washington refused.

“I hope that everyone will remain civil,” Bunning said. “This country has always had disagreements, but what makes this country different from other countries is that we respect the rule of law.”

(Wynn and Kenning report for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky. Contributing: The Associated Press)

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  • And thus the history of the advancement of human rights and human progress marches on. One might think of all the County Clerks that there are (Texas alone has 254) that if this were indeed a principled stand, then surely more than one would have resisted in such a manner, but….crickets. Instead this one poor woman got goaded into putting herself in jail because her handlers in the extreme right-wing theocratic advocay groups exploiting her needed a martyr to enhance the cash flow.

  • The martyrbation has already started in social media.

    Oh no! The Courts actually upheld the rule of law and stopped a government official from abusing their position to engage in discrimination. That’s persecution! My religious freedom permits me to deny freedom to others!

  • Hey, Larry isn’t it interesting that those that whine about “political correctness” are the loudest advocates of it? This case is certainly a case in point. The quadruple-married, adulterous, babymama of twins conceived out of wedlock (fathered by her third husband, adopted by her second, who is also her fourth…well, heck, it is Eastern Kaintuck, where the family trees don’t fork…not to be puttin’ down rednecks, I’m one too, and they have ’em on both sides of the pond where ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman married a much younger woman and then his own son married his stepmother’s mother….”I’m My Own Grandpa” may have started as a hillbilly song but the suave could sing it too, which may explain the Trump Phenomenon [the social structure curves so both ends meet on the other side as loud, angry poors are represented by a loud, angry rich, but I digress]…) sees fit to cast stones, not seeing she lives in a glass house.

  • Targeted, unnecessary persecution of one woman in particular by the gay elephant in the room. Nasty crowd. Enjoy your honeymoon, Davids, it’ll last longer than your marriage.

  • If her conscience will not allow her to do a job the government now requires, she should resign and/or find another job that is compatible with it.

  • First, Dom ,they have already been together, I believe, 17 years. It a always amazes me how many gay couples stay together despite all of the social forces arrayed to tear them apart, and so many heterosexuals cannot stay together despite their promises to God and all of the forces arrayed to keep them together, so many have been together anywhere from 20 to 50 years and more. I personally know of hundreds.

    Second, you might note that it is a bush appointed, anti gay son of an antigay former senator, appointed by George Bush, who has thrown her sorry ass in jail for contempt of court. We gay people had nothing to do with it.

    Something about the rule of law?

  • No bqrq, she is not becoming a Catholic Priest.

    Btw thanks to IP searches of your posts, you can expect authorities to be closing in on you. Better start deleting all that child p0rn on your computer and release those children you have locked up in your mom’s basement.

  • Who would have guessed that someone who held the court in contempt and refused to follow its orders would be found in contempt of court and punished for it? Go figure.

  • This is good; as it will show how bizarre this nation has become. Where are the federal marshals in San Francisco when they refuse to follow federal law concerning illegal immigrant felons. Hmmm. This is selective enforcement of Supreme Court mandated sinning. As for whether she should resign??? Why? Because she is doing her job as she has always known it to be? No these people should be grandfathered in, and until their atheists take their places through attrition.

  • Stories like this one from Kentucky are awesome.
    They create 10,000 Atheists per minute.

    I feel awful this story seems to be ending.
    I hope another religious zealot emerges quickly to keep the red-eyed homophobic bigotry of the Jesus Code front and center to be pilloried across the culture.

    “Avoid them” – St. Paul
    Such broad hatred against groups of human beings is depraved.

  • Hopefully this will now get the attention this case has needed from the beginning. The governor of Ky, needs to step in and state that his State is one that believes in the Constitution of the USA, and ends this nonsense. It is time for the State of Kentucky to tell the SCOTUS to take a hike, just like CA, CO, and now AZ has beein doing, without backlash from the FEDS.

  • Unnecessary? So, if a Muslim county clerk denies driver’s licenses to women, you’re okay with that?

    And, if an Amish county clerk denies gun licenses to everyone, you’re okay with that?

    And, if a Church of Satan county clerk requires an animal sacrifice to get a marriage license, you’re okay with that?

  • Just as Jesus said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man … in those days, they married wives, and were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26-27. In our day we are being deluged with the flood of deception. And at some point, only entering into the Ark of the Catholic Church–the barque of Peter (Matt 14:29)–will one escape being swept away, finding safe refuge there. One by one, the other churches will knuckle under to the norms of the anti-church. We, however, must all go to that place of refuge to resist the counterfeit that looms, seeking to deceive and rob you of your salvation. Pray, pray, pray to Our Lord, as this will only get worse, before getting better.

  • Insanity creates 10,000 atheists per minute. And since they are soulless, animated mud-pie fools, good riddance to bad rubbish. Just don’t react to their depression and let nature takes its course. Evolution is a pitiless care taker.

    The M A S H theme should be playing in the background . . .

  • Greg1,

    It’s amazing watching it all come to life every single day. The Bible, fools mock it while living it out as they do.

    I’m enjoying this.

    The lady is as wrong as any marriage perversion activist. It’s like watching two pigs fight over their own excrement because there might still be an edible chunk in there somewhere.

    Hilarious watching the fool patrol on both sides of the street yelling at those with the same content of character as each has.

    It’s easy to see how S’dom and G’morrah got that way. So much for the myth label.

  • This is counterproductive. The woman has now become a martyr in the cause of discrimination against same sex marriage. Why didn’t they just dismiss her from her job? Obviously with her beliefs, she is unable to perform it.

    Stupidity on steroids!

  • Indeed. I think we all know why gays are going to this clerk for a marriage license. But this is a good eye opener for all who have stood on the sidelines thinking this is just some hand waver. No, it’s time to wake up, and see what’s really brewing out there, and it is a witches brew of anti-normalcy that is out to infest the minds and hearts of all people of good will. Sadly, most people are followers, and that means, they will follow the devil himself off the great precipice into his well heated home for eternity. Time to get properly focused.

  • Why bother?

    Your god doesn’t give a sh!t how bad it gets: he actually views our greatest efforts to come together as a species in peace and harmony as the sign that it has hit the fan and the time for his return is nigh.

    You should be celebrating: our success at inclusion marks the arrival of your schadenfreude-pushing savior.

  • Dominic

    It had nothing to do with the gay couples and everything to do with the Clerks view that because she was Christian that she as a public official could pick and choose which laws she would obey. This is a common idea among some conservative Christians that they are above secular law.

    Not eve Jesus ever taught that. Give unto Caesar what is Caesars. Despite the fact that Caesar was not following God’s law, that did not change the fact that Jesus said his followers had to follow man made law such as taxes.

    Another thing is that the county clerk has no legal right to impose her religious beliefs because of being a government official. It is not just a case of same sex couples. She has not allowed any marriage licenses to be done since last June, so she was taking out her tantrum on the whole of the county, and all couples seeking marriage licenses.

    It is a delicious irony that she forced a mostly Conservative Supreme Court and a Republican Attorney General to work…

  • Sorry but as incest is the biggest child molesting problem, that is mostly a Straight family problem.

  • Given the tenor of your posts, it is clear you are sodomizing your mother and son and are just looking for excuses by blaming others.

    Sorry, you came to the wrong place for that.

  • The level of discourse at RNS seems to be pretty mean.
    Can we not have semi-polite posts?
    Do people think they will change anyones mind by such talk?
    Are there LOTS of trolls here trying to make opponents look bad?

  • The point is that we are talking about sodomy which is always the underlying issue in any discussion of gay marriage. Telling big fat lies about it being “normal” and pushing it on boys and young men. This forum will never be anything more than just another gay website. Next topic – is “fisting” morally righteous?

  • This commentary is useful in that it exposes evil and validates why Kim David should not be forced to participate in the depravity of “gay marriage”

  • The Constitution of the United States protects freedom of religion. Too bad SCOTOS doesn’t know this. They are swayed by public opinion. Replace them!

  • These persons whose conscience conflicts with man’s law, but agree with God’s laws, will most likely not be grandfathered in. Why? Man’s systems (including political and judicial), not being just nor righteous, usually abuse the powers they possess, to the detriment of the many.

    Gratefully, God’s kingdom or government will soon replace all of man’s political and judicial systems (Daniel 2:44), so this “problem” will soon no longer be applicable in the long run…during its millennial rule, and after it, on earth.

  • Do you mean to say that public opinion should have no value in our country? Only the opinions of the religionists?

  • David was elected country clerk, NOT county cleric.

    By refusing to allow her under clerks to sign marriage licenses, she is basically stating what we already knew: the only freedom of religion that matters is hers.

    @Greg? all people of good will? I’m assuming you are including yourself and BQRQ in that bit of lying? What about the couples who just want a marriage license, not a religious diatribe? what about all of the people who have no issue with gay people marrying, and all of the churches willing to marry them?

  • Ben, Gay people are free to do as they choose; however, the so called “decision” to allow gay marriage is way way out there. I can’t quite see that far Left. The SCOTUS had no business getting involved in these types of decisions. In doing so, they’ve become a political entity. Constitutionally, they don’t have the authority to just “make” a new Constitution. There just isn’t enough in our Constitution to allow them this broad decision. This is something that requires an act of Congress. So, no, this must be corrected, and yes, the SCOTUS needs to be reeled in from its assumption of power that it does not have. The Constitution affords freedom of Religion; it doesn’t openly state that man is free from the Natural Law. In fact, it implies that man is bound to the Natural Law in the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution that followed. And it ties that Natural Law to its Overseer, God, the Creator.

  • Incest will be legalized soon, I’m guessing. What’s to stop an uncle/nephew wedding now? Since they can’t reproduce, and they are in love, who’s to point fingers at them. Yep, the world is dying quicker from moral warming than global warming.

  • She still married within the norm of our created nature. Homosexual sex is a sin to the religiously learned….. making homosexual marriage a religious impossibility. Even a sinner recognizes moral depravity when they see it.

  • Now you are being supremely ridiculous. It is an obvious fact that this woman was repeatedly targeted to make a point for the gay cause. The Davids could have gone elsewhere long ago, but humiliating a religious conscience was just too tempting. And after all the bullying tales the gays whimper over, they turn out to be bullies themselves. Nice goal.

  • Rendering unto Caesar had to do with reasonably obeying the laws of the land. Being commanded to pay tribute to an idol was not to be obeyed by Christians. How many willingly died defying “Caesar”?
    To this clerk, gay marriage is akin to spitting in the face of God, and forcing her to undertake a new novelty of licensing what isn’t marriage is cruel…..intentionally cruel. But heaven forbid we insult the gay pioneers.

  • Dominic, I’ve seen enough of your comments to know that you are allergic to reality, and addicted to imaginary facts.

  • Correction: “It is an obvious imaginary fact that this woman was repeatedly targeted to make a point for the gay cause.”

    “The Davids could have gone elsewhere long ago . . . “ Yes, just as black people could have gone elsewhere for a meal fifty years ago if a lunch-counter was in defiance of Federal law.

  • Assuming that the nephew is not a minor, who could possibly be harmed by an uncle/nephew wedding? If your opposition is grounded in nothing more than a Bible verse, then you have no legal standing whatsoever. However, if you can cite some documentable tangible harm, then you may have a case.

  • That’s got to be one of the weirdest and least effective arguments ever. Let’s parse it alittle:

    “Our created culture:” Aren’t all cultures created by their denizens?

    “The religiously learned:” Like the Taliban and the Ayatollahs?

    “A religious impossibility:” Like evolution, or the earth revolving around the sun?

    “A sinner:” It would seem the writer believes this is a category to which he himself does not belong.

    “Moral depravity:” Anyone who believes the harsh treatment of refugees in Hungary is not moral depravity, but marrying a loving couple is, has no moral compass to speak of.

  • She made over a half a million dollars in donations in the last few months. She is fine. In fact I suspect part of her “resolve” has nothing to do with faith and more to do with the fact that she is getting more than $10,000 per day from supporters.

  • Asking a public official to follow the law and do their job cannot be reasonably called persecution. The second sentence there appears to obliquely threaten violence against the plaintiffs but I believe the writer’s intention was not that so much as a regret that the caliber of those gentlemen’s manhood so far vastly exceeds his own.

  • Please. Certainly you are not implying those “gay pioneers” have not been insulted more times in a month than Li’l Kim has in her whole life (well, maybe not counting the fashion police)?

  • I’d like to see some evidence that RNS is behind “the promotion of sodomy.”

    First of all, define “sodomy” as used in your assertion. I can mean anal intercourse, either between persons of same or opposite genders, or simply anything other than man-on-top get-it-over-with sex in the dark for the purpose of conception. So give us the definition in your usage of it there, then connect the dots. Otherwise it’s revealed as bloviation.

  • Up yours. I am not the one asking people if they sodomize. Nor did I bring up pedophilia and fisting. That is all bqrq. If you don’t like nasty minded pervy posts, don’t make them. Otherwise tough crap.

  • With all due respect it appears you are the one hung up on sex here. The idea gay marriage is about sex is pretty stupid, unless you think straight marriage is about sex too.

  • This post is fraught with the assumption of facts not in evidence. Actually, LGBTs tend to be among the most productive people in any society which is one reason why corporations like Hallmark, based in Kansas City in the Heartland, enthusiastically embrace gay rights. In contrast, religious fanatics are the ones most often found at the fringes, carrying imcomprehensible picket signs and shouting nonsense. I suspect the writer is among those affected by the prevarication that The Roman Empire fell due to sexual immorality and is trying to express that as best as he can by making assertions relative to this falsehood as if it is a truth. My Western Civ professor, the late Sydney D. Janak, once confronted a drunken right-wing local TV station manager who presented similarly cretinous assertions as on-air editorials thusly: “the Roman Empire fell for many reasons, but sexual morality was not one of them.”

  • “Natural Law” = the speaker’s handy-dandy phrase which roughly translates to “I don’t wike it.”

  • God bless her. She is doing a righteous act. She fears God not man. The prophet Daniel saw into the future a very long time ago. And he saw ‘the saints of The Most High inherited the kingdoms of the world”. The kingdoms of the world have been misruled. Jesus Christ will rule righteously as Priest-King with His saints for ever and ever, and where will the wicked be? Where they will go? Daniel saw this also “their bodies were given to the fire”. Daniel saw into the future: the reign of Messiah with His saints. He saw the lake of fire, where the wicked will reside for all eternity. So, while the wicked celebrate their perceived victories in this wicked age, remember, in the end they lose. In the end the saints of the most high win! Forever, and ever. Repent! Turn to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Receive Him into you life, and know God’s forgiveness of sins and peace and promise of everlasting life. God Bless