MOREHEAD, Ky. — A county clerk in Kentucky, along with her office, is defying a court order to issue “marriage” licenses to homosexuals due to her Christian convictions not to be a partaker in other men’s sins. (1 Tim. 5:22)
Kim Davis, clerk of Rowan County, was the subject of a federal suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of two homosexuals and their partners, and well as two opposite-sex couples, after she declined to issue any marriage licenses of any kind following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.
But Davis also sued Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, after he declared in a letter that all county clerks must issue licenses to homosexuals despite their identity as a Christian.
“Neither your oath nor the Supreme Court dictates what you must believe. But as elected officials, they do prescribe how we must act,” he wrote.
Davis is charging Beshear with discrimination. Her complaint points to the fact that Beshear did not force Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to do his job when he declined to file an appeal for the state, but instead accommodated him by hiring private attorneys to do it instead.
“[A]lthough Attorney General Conway was given a pass for his conscience about marriage without any threats of repercussion, clerks like Davis are being repeatedly told by their Governor to abandon their religiously informed beliefs or resign,” it reads.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled in the ACLU case, declaring that Rowan must issue the licenses despite her Christian convictions. He stated that Davis may practice her faith in her private life, but would have to check it at the door of her job.
“Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs,” he wrote. “She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County jail. She is even 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.”
Attorneys for Davis immediately filed an appeal and a request for a stay and counseled her not to issue any licenses in the interim. Today, Davis’ office turned away at least two men and their partners and Davis herself did not show up for work.
“Kim Davis cannot license something that is prohibited by her religious convictions,” said Mat Staver for the legal group Liberty Counsel. “To provide a license is to provide approval and places a legal authority behind what is being licensed. The First Amendment protects actions and not mere thought. Kim Davis should not be forced to violate her religious beliefs.”