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Kentucky Clerk Must Issue Gay Marriage Licenses Despite Her Personal Religious Beliefs: Michigan Courts Responsible For Gay Marriage

August 31, 2015

It’s not often that I am grateful for the 6th Circuit Court, a federal court whose jurisdiction includes Michigan and nearby states, because I am usually embarrassed by it. The Sixth Circuit Court ruled against gay marriage in Michigan last year, but that ruling opened the door for the Federal Supreme Court to step in and allow gay marriage to be legalized nationwide. See, Michigan’s backwardness, while a national embarrassment, did open the door for gay marriage to be legal in all 50 states and territories. Should I trumpet how Michigan’s court-based bigotry got the whole nation riled up? I am sure some of the Texas courts hate us right now. I won’t go so far as to say that I am proud to be linked to the Sixth Circuit Court, but I will say I am proud that some aspects of Michigan-based bigotry have been overturned. Thank you, thank you!

Clerk Kim Davis can not impose her religious/sexual views on other people in her county, according to federal courts. Kim Davis must really, really issue marriage licenses now. She has fought this ruling . 

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Rowan County clerk Kim Davis cannot, on religious grounds, refuse to serve gays and lesbians wishing to marry, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled on Wednesday. The court’s decision cited Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark ruling in June that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

“In light of the binding holding of Obergefell, it cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office . . . may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution,” the court said.

The real issue is whether or not the clerk, by working in a government office, can deny others their Constitutional rights when that government officer claims granting someone else’s, namely a gay couple’s Constitutional rights, violates her own Constitutional rights.

Kim Davis has asked for court protection to continue to deny gay marriage licenses in order to further her own religious appeal to the Federal Supreme Court.

This, even after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling denying Davis a stay as she fights gay couples suing her for marriage licenses, claiming she has the right to deny them — as a public servant — based on her religious beliefs. Defying the appeals court order, she and her attorneys at the Liberty Counsel — the anti-gay legal group affiliated with the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University — are instead appealing to the Supreme Court, where they are likely to lose as well.

Where do Kim Davis’s rights end and others’ begin? Finally, there is a movement to charge Kim Davis with misconduct, after a months-long debacle in which she refuses to issue marriage licenses to anyone.

Attorneys for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis are petitioning the Supreme Court for an emergency order protecting her from being fired until her lawsuit against Gov. Steve Beshear (D) is resolved. Earlier Friday, the Rowan County Attorney formally requested that the state government charge Davis with misconduct, the first step in ousting her from her post.

Davis’ core argument is that granting a marriage license to a same-sex couple would violate her religious beliefs. Since this summer’s high court ruling on marriage makes it illegal to grant licenses to heterosexual couples while denying them to same-sex couples, Davis is simply refusing to issue them to anyone — and appealing every court decision that goes against her, perhaps in hopes of putting her religious liberty argument before the country’s ultimate legal arbiter.

 

Kim Davis has tried every stall tactic in the book, and today is the day that she must issue marriage licenses, or she could be charged with misconduct. I am not holding my breath that either one will happen.

Friday afternoon, Davis, who refuses to issue marriage licenses despite a court order, said in court documents that she filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court to have a justice review her appeal. A spokeswoman with the Supreme Court told WKYT they had not received the petition as of Friday afternoon.

Davis apparently submitted that filing to the Supreme Court and then asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to extend his stay– which is scheduled to expire Aug. 31 — on his marriage license order while she appeals to the Supreme Court. Bunning responded hours later, denying that request.

Now she really, really is supposed to issue marriage licenses, as opposed to just having to issue them according to a Federal Supreme Court order. Part of me is still left wondering if others would be allowed the same leniency. Do any of us other citizens get to treat the Federal Supreme Court as our personal legal counsel before we comply with a law? At what point should Kim Davis be charged with crimes for simply refusing to obey the laws the way the rest of the country is mandated to comply or be jailed?

Michigan, and 6th Circuit, gotta hand it to you: thanks for being bigoted enough to win freedoms to everyone else nationwide. And Kim Davis, I am sure that you will have to issue marriage licenses, just how much time will you waste of everyone else’s in the process?

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