MOREHEAD, Ky. — A county clerk in Kentucky has been ordered to appear in court on Thursday for a contempt hearing and is now facing “serious financial penalties” after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed motions against her for continuing to refuse to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals because of her Christian convictions.
“The motions ask the court to hold [Kim] Davis in contempt of court for failing to comply with its previous ruling and to clarify that Davis must issue marriage licenses to everybody, not just the four named couples in the case,” the organization reported in a statement on Tuesday.
The ACLU is also seeking heavy fines against Davis for not complying with the order in an effort to force her into compliance.
As previously reported, Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, has been 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 Christian ethos.
“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.
At least two other clerks in the state, Casey Davis of Casey County and Kenny Brown in Boone County, are likewise declining to issue licenses because of their Christian convictions.
Last month, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled in the ACLU case, making similar statements as Beshear—that Davis may have the free exercise of religion in her private life, but limited her Christian identity on the job to a mental belief as opposed to an inseparable, inviolable lifestyle that excludes her from being a facilitator of other men’s sins. (1 Timothy 5:22)
Her attorneys then appealed the order, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Bunning denying the desired stay. The U.S. Supreme Court likewise rejected the stay request on Monday.
“The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the court is denied,” the court wrote on Monday without further comment.
On Tuesday morning, one of the men listed at the plaintiff in the case against Davis went to her office to obtain a license and was again turned away.
“The Supreme Court denied your stay,” the man contended.
“We are not issuing marriage licenses,” Davis responded.
“Under whose authority?” another man called out.
“Under God’s authority,” Davis said firmly.
According to the Washington Post, approximately 100 people stood outside of the Rowan County Courthouse to see what would take place—with some supporting Davis and others expecting a license. Those in support of the clerk sang “Amazing Grace” and a pastor led those gathered in prayer.
Following the turnaway, the ACLU filed a contempt motion in federal court, seeking to force Davis to issue the licenses despite her Christian identity. It requested “financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous to compel Davis’ immediate compliance without further delay.”
“She adopted the ‘no marriage license’ policy solely because she opposes marriage for same-sex couples due to her personal religious beliefs and thus feels that issuing marriage licenses to them (or allowing her subordinates to do so under her authority) would violate her beliefs,” the motion reads. “Davis decided to bar all qualified applicants from obtaining marriage licenses in Rowan County rather than ‘discriminate’ only against same-sex couples.”
“Because Davis cannot show either that she is unable to comply with the August 12, 2015, order or that she has taken all reasonable steps to comply, this court is left with no choice but to hold her in contempt,” it says.