FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Democratic governor of Kentucky has ordered a county clerk to issue “marriage” licenses to same-sex pairs or resign from his position.
Gov. Steve Beshear, whose father and grandfather were reportedly both ministers and who identifies as a Baptist, told Casey County clerk Casey Davis on Thursday those were his two choices.
Davis is one of three clerks in the state who has objected to issuing the licenses because of their Christian convictions. He met with the governor this week to outline his concerns and his convictions not to facilitate the sins of others. During the meeting, approximately 50 of Davis’ friends and family members gathered to pray at the capitol rotunda.
According to the Herald Leader, state Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, was among his supporters.
“God first created one man and one woman to raise a family,” Robinson told the outlet. “He did not create two men or two women together.”
But despite the effort, Davis said that he was told by Beshear that he must either issue the licenses or step down.
“This morning, I advised Mr. Davis that I respect his right to his own personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriages,” Beshear wrote in a statement following the meeting. “However, when he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution. According to the United States Supreme Court, the Constitution now requires that governmental officials in Kentucky and elsewhere must recognize same-sex marriages as valid and allow them to take place.”
“One of Mr. Davis’ duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme Court now says that the United States Constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender,” he added.
Davis and others had urged the governor to call a special legislative session to pass a law that would provide protections for people of faith, but Beshear declined, stating that he did not think it was worth the $60,0000 a day expense of the session.
But Davis disagreed, opining, “What cost do you put on freedom?”
Davis says that he is disappointed in the results of meeting, but is standing his ground and is refusing to neither issue the licenses or quit his job.
“I’m going to be not wise in mine own eyes,” he told the Associated Press, referring to a Scripture in the book of Proverbs. “I’m going to fear the Lord and depart from evil.”
Davis stated that while he has been concerned about the possibility of a lawsuit, he is learning to “lean on the Lord.” He also remarked to reporters that he is willing to go to jail for his Christian convictions if need be.
“If that’s what it takes for me to express the freedom of religion that I believe I was born with, I’m willing to do that,” he said.
Three other Kentucky clerks, Kenny Brown in Boone County, Kim Davis in Rowan County and Jason Denny in Anderson County, have likewise expressed their objections to issuing the licenses due to their Christian convictions.