A Rowan County Clerk appealed to the ruling of a federal judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ordering her to resume issuing marriage licenses.
Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that her beliefs and Christian faith should exempt her from said duty. After appealing to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, she then resumed issuing licenses amidst complaints.
Davis refused to issue marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage last June. She refused to serve both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples marriage licenses even after a federal judge issued a court order that all Louisiana officials grant marriage licenses, as well as an order that all Alabama counties abide by the Supreme Court ruling that allows same-sex marriage.
Two same-sex couples and two heterosexual couples sued Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses, and urged the judge not to stay the order. The county clerk only until Monday to respond before the judge renders his decisions.
Davis’ refusal is causing delays for both same-sex and heterosexual couples throughout the county. Presently, no wedding can be legally recognized in Rowan County. Couples need to obtain their marriage license somewhere else until the court finally decides what to do with the issue.
While most opponents of gay and lesbian marriage rights are actually complying with the high court, there are still objectors. Kim Davis is the first to be challenged in federal court, and she’s now at the center of a controversy due to her staunch religious beliefs.
David Bunning, the U.S. District Judge that gave Davis time to appeal, said she is “free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.”
Davis says her beliefs and actions are shaped by “God’s holy word” as recorded in the Bible, and these include her views on sin and marriage. She is testifying in higher court that since the Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and a woman, she cannot agree with same-sex couples getting their marriage licenses.
The clerk is not only drawing fire from gay and lesbian couples. Davis has filed for divorce twice already, and many Christians believe that this is also a sin. This only furthers questioning regarding her authority towards issuing same-sex couples marriage licenses.