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Despite Protests from Kim Davis, Marriage Licenses Issued
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Kim Davis has emphasized that she will not allow same-sex marriage licenses to be issued under her name, despite recently being released from jail for failing to follow court orders on the issue.

Summary: Kim Davis has emphasized that she will not allow same-sex marriage licenses to be issued under her name, despite recently being released from jail for failing to follow court orders on the issue.

CNN reports that, though she just spent a few nights in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses, Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has vowed that she will deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. According to the Seattle Times, Davis has said that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples “forces [her] to disobey God.”

  
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Despite Davis’ vehement opposition to same-sex marriage, Carmen and Shannon Wampler-Collins received their license with no issue.

Monday was Davis’ first day back at work after she spent five days in jail for ignoring a court order and refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Clearly experiencing “a case of the Mondays,” Davis spoke boldly, saying that she would refuse to issue a marriage license that did not fall in line with her religious beliefs. However, she said that her deputies would be able to provide such licenses, so long as the documents do not have Davis’ title on them.

The marriage license that the couple received only said “pursuant to federal court order” instead of Davis’ name and Rowan County.

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Of course, Davis’ strange solution to the issue has caused more questions than answers about the issuance of licenses. Davis even said that she is not sure that licenses that have been altered in such a manner are legal.

On Monday, Davis read a statement that asked state authorities to come up with a solution so that her religious beliefs would be accommodated at work. She read, “Effective immediately, and until an accommodation is provided by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me.”



Read about Kim Davis’ release from jail here.

Davis said that last week, U.S. District Judge David Bunning “indicated last week that he was willing to accept altered marriage licenses even though he was not certain of their validity. I, too, have great doubts whether the license[s] issued under these conditions are even valid.”

According to NBC News, Carmen and Shannon Wampler-Collins did not seem too concerned. Shannon said, “My license is valid, and it’s valid because of the court order that’s in effect. It doesn’t have to have her signature.” Carmen added, ”It’s a big moment for us personally, so we’re just really happy.”

Davis has remained adamant that she will not sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples, and that she will not authorize her deputies to do so, either. She did state that if her deputies do provide licenses to same-sex couples, she will not punish them.

However, many ponder whether Davis is still defying the judge’s orders. Experts say the issue is not black and white.

Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN senior analyst, said that Kentucky law may allow a deputy’s signature to validate a marriage license, even if the clerk does not consent. However, if the documents themselves are altered, a court may have to rule as to whether they are valid.

Davis’ attorney, Harry Mihet, said that her plan is a “good faith” attempt to comply with the judge’s orders while maintaining her own beliefs. Mihet said during a news conference, “Today, Kim Davis remains the bravest woman in America. She has not compromised her conscience, she has not compromised her faith, and she has not quit serving the people of Rowan County that she loves very much.”

Mihet

Mihet

Read about Kim Davis going to jail here.

He did note that a clerk issued a license to a same-sex couple, but that it was done without Davis’ authorization.

The license issued to Carmen and Shannon Wampler-Collins, as well as those issued while Davis was in jail, were done without her authority.

Do you think Kim Davis is still violating the court order?

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Since Davis was jailed on September 3, 11 licenses have been issued, 8 of which were for same-sex couples. Mihet said, “If any of her clerks decide that they must issue licenses to avoid going to jail, she will not take any adverse action against them.”

Since she got out of jail last week, Davis has kept a low profile and has been reading through letters that supporters sent to her. “I am deeply moved by all those who prayed for me. All I can say is that I am amazed and very grateful.”

Attorneys have filed motions on her behalf that state that her time in jail did not sway her position on the issue. On Friday, her attorneys sought injunctive relief, which would essentially excuse her from having to provide licenses to same-sex couples until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided the issue. That motion was denied.

Another attorney for Davis, Mat Staver, suggested removing Davis’ name and office from the process—and instead allowing the state to issue marriage licenses.

Staver

Staver

Supreme Court intervention may be necessary to resolve the issue.

However, Kentucky state law dictates that the authority to issue marriage licenses lies with each county clerk. Therefore, an act of the Legislature would be required to transfer that power elsewhere. The legislature will not convene until January 5, and Governor Steve Beshear has said he will not call an emergency session to decide the issue.

Kentucky state Senate President Robert Stivers said that a legislative solution was being created, and that it should pass in January.

Staver commented, “It’s a very, very difficult decision that no one wants to have. Choose your job, or choose your faith.”

Source: CNN

Photo credit: NY Post, LGBTWeekly.com (Staver), MyBRCTV.com (Mihet)



 

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