Kim Davis, right, the clerk of Rowan County, Ky., speaks with David Moore after refusing to issue him a marriage license on Tuesday.

By ALAN BLINDER and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

September 1, 2015

MOREHEAD, Ky., — A county clerk in Kentucky who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds denied licenses to gay couples on Tuesday, saying she was acting “under the authority of God,” just hours after the Supreme Court refused to support her position.
In a raucous scene in this little town, two same-sex couples walked into the Rowan County Courthouse, trailed by television cameras and chanting protesters on both sides of the issue, only to be told by the county clerk, Kim Davis, that she was denying them marriage licenses.
Ms. Davis at first remained in her office with the blinds drawn, while a deputy clerk told two couples, April Miller and Karen Roberts, and David Ermold and David Moore, that no licenses would be issued Tuesday.
“Tell her to come out and face the people she’s discriminating against,” Mr. Ermold shouted.
Ms. Davis emerged, argued briefly with the applicants, and asked them to leave.
Mr. Moore said he would remain in the clerk’s office until he and Mr. Ermold had a license.
“Then you’re going to have a long day,” she replied.

After the county sheriff, Matt Sparks, arrived, Mr. Moore asked him to arrest Ms. Davis, but Sheriff Sparks said he could not.
“I suspect the federal court will decide the next course of action,” the sheriff said. “There’s actually people pushing — want us to arrest everybody here for disorderly conduct.”
Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed a motion in District Court asking a judge to hold Ms. Davis in contempt of court, and to assess fines for refusing to issue marriage licenses. A hearing was set for Thursday.
In an interview, Ms. Miller said, “We were hopeful that we would get a license this morning, but we also understood that she has taken a pretty strong stand, so it was not a surprise.” She and Ms. Roberts were the first through the door when the clerk’s office opened at 8 a.m. — their third attempt to get a license in Rowan County.
They might be able to …Read More