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Rowan County Clerk Defies Order to Give Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples
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Rowan County

Summary: A county clerk cites her religious beliefs as a reason to not uphold the law and ignore federal orders.

A Rowan County Clerk is ignoring orders from a federal judge by refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The office of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has turned away several couples.


Davis has religious objections to same-sex marriage, which the judge says do not matter. The office is appealing the ruling and their attorneys at Liberty Counsel told them continue refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while they appeal.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled that even though Davis may be an Apostolic Christian, she has a duty to fulfill the law. As Bunning stated, “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.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting the case and can decide to pursue a contempt of court charge. Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver notes “Kim Davis is just an example of what’s going to be happening not only to other clerks but to other people who are going to be confronted with this issue and we think that this is a serious matter that needs to be decided by a higher court.”

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Judge Bunning pointed out that marriage forms are not an endorsement. A clerk is simply verify that the information is correct and that the couple are qualified to marry under state law.




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