MOREHEAD, Ky. — One of the deputy clerks under Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis issued “marriage” licences to homosexuals on Friday despite questions over whether the documents are even legal since Davis has refused to authorize any clerks to issue the licenses under her authority.
Brian Mason handed out four licenses today, surrounded by reporters and video cameras. After providing the documents, he shook the hands of those who came to obtain the signed documents and stated, “congratulations.”
But attorneys for Davis said that the licenses are illegal because they were issued without the authorization of the clerk.
“They are not being issued under the authority of the Rowan County clerk’s office. They are not worth the paper that they are written on,” Liberty Counsel’s Matt Staver told reporters.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning had called Davis’ deputy clerks into court yesterday to answer whether or not they themselves would be willing to issue the licenses. At that time, questions arose as to the legality of the documents since Davis had refused to grant permission under her authority. Bunning said that homosexuals would have to take that “risk” of whether or not their licenses would be legal.
“Here’s two things I know: She’s not going to resign and she’s not going to violate her conscience,” Staver told reporters after meeting with Davis in jail. “So however long that lasts, in terms of the consequences, she is prepared to accept them.”
“She will never violate her conscience or betray her God,” he said. “She’s doing what Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, which is to pay the consequences for her decision.”
As previously reported, Martin Luther King, Jr., in his well-known “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written during a time when he was imprisoned for violating the law, said that while some may question disobedience to civil law, a law is not a law if it violates the law of God.
“One may well ask, ‘How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?’ The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust,” he explained. “I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
“How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law,” King continued.
“Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience,” he wrote. “It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire.”