Morehead Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis Refuses to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses Facing Lawsuit
Not only does Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refuse to issue marriage licenses as a government official, using her governmental position to position “her choice” (her words) to deny marriage licenses she doesn’t believe in, but she also refuses to allow the gay couple applying to video their encounters, which also violates their rights. Huffington Post put a copy of the video, found below, on its website, with the history of the encounter below:
The video, which has been watched more than a million times to date, shows the couple going to the Rowan County clerk’s office in the hopes of acquiring a marriage license. They, however, are told by an employee behind a counter that because of a “choice” made by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, they would not be able to get a license there.
“You can go to any other county and get your marriage license, we’re just not doing it at this time,” she said to the couple, as a police officer looked closely on.
Davis has said that her Christian beliefs prevent her from abiding by the Supreme Court ruling. The clerk told The Associated Press that she will no longer be issuing marriage licenses to couples — gay or straight.
“It’s a deep-rooted conviction; my conscience won’t allow me to do that,” she said. “It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life.”
Davis herself appears at the end of the video, which was filmed Monday. As a screenshot from the clip shows, the clerk insisted that the camera be switched off — a demand that Moore (pictured below) complied with.
Here is the problem with this situation, a governmental employee may have his or her own rights, but as an employee of the government, they don’t have the right to impose those beliefs onto other people by using their appointed governmental rights to do so.
The ACLU has filed suit against Clerk, who acting in her official capacity as a government employee, imposed her religious beliefs onto others living in her county. The ACLU has already commented on the filing:
In explaining the ACLU’s decision to file suit on the couples’ behalf, ACLU of Kentucky Cooperating Attorney Laura Landenwich stated, “Ms. Davis has the absolute right to believe whatever she wants about God, faith, and religion, but as a government official who swore an oath to uphold the law, she cannot pick and choose who she is going to serve, or which duties her office will perform based on her religious beliefs.”
The couples named in the suit are April Miller & Karen Roberts, Shantel Burke & Stephen Napier, Jody Fernandez & Kevin Holloway, and L. Aaron Skaggs & Barry W. Spartman.
In explaining why obtaining a marriage license in Rowan County, as opposed to a neighboring county is important, Plaintiff Aaron Skaggs stated, “We have been citizens of Rowan County since the beginning of our relationship and love being members of this community. So, it only makes sense that we would want and should be granted our right to be recognized as a loving couple having freedom to marry here at home.”
Commenting on the suit, the ACLU of Kentucky Executive Director Michael Aldridge stated, “When our laws are updated or changed, government officials have a duty and a responsibility to impartially administer those laws.”