LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis may have breached a federal court order when she heavily modified marriage licenses to remove her name, an attorney for one of Davis’ deputies warns in a filing Friday.
Davis, the elected county clerk who believes same-sex marriage is a sin, spent five days in jail for refusing to obey a federal judge’s order that she issue the licenses to same-sex couples.
Deputy Clerk Brian Mason began providing the forms to couples earlier this month while Davis remained in jail, and he has continued to give them out following her release.
However, he is concerned that changes to the licenses have resulted in “substantial questions about validity,” Richard Hughes, an attorney for Mason, wrote Friday.
“I discussed with Mr. Mason in my opinion he had done nothing wrong and is continuing to follow his sworn testimony to the court, however it also appears to this counsel those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court’s orders and may have raised to the level of interference against the court’s orders,” Hughes wrote.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning warned Davis not to interfere with deputies when he released her from custody, but she altered the marraige licenses in several places when she returned to work the following week.
The changes removed any mention of Davis’ name or her office, and the form now states that it was issued pursuant to a federal court order rather than the county clerk. Mason also now initials the paperwork as a notary rather than a deputy clerk.
Friday’s filing says that Mason finds himself in a difficult position.
“Mr. Mason’s concern is he does not want to be the party that is issuing invalid marriage licenses and he is trying to follow the court’s mandate as well as his superior ordering him to issue only these changed forms,” Hughes wrote.
Story by Mike Wynn for The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal