Will Clerk Issue Gay Marriage Licenses After Court Ruling? – New York Times
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 1, 2015
MOREHEAD, Ky. — The Supreme Court ruled against the county clerk who refused to issue gay marriage licenses, leaving her with perhaps her toughest decision yet: Hand out licenses or risk potential fines or even possible jail time.
The moment of truth comes Tuesday morning when Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis opens her office doors. She appears to have run out of legal options after the high court denied her last-ditch appeal late Monday.
Davis has steadfastly refused to issue the licenses, saying her deeply held Christian beliefs don’t let her endorse gay marriages. Her attorney said she would pray overnight and understands the consequences either way.
“Wow, wow, wow, I can’t believe it, we might finally be able to get a license,” said April Miller, who’s been denied a gay marriage license twice. “I don’t know if she’ll stand her ground and deny licenses. But I guess we’ll find out.”
Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses in the days after U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her, arguing that she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal religious faith. A federal judge ordered her to issue the licenses, and an appeals court upheld that decision. Her lawyers with the Liberty Counsel filed a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court on Friday, asking that they grant her “asylum for her conscience.”
Justice Elena Kagan, who oversees the 6th district, referred Davis’ request to the full court, which denied the stay without comment.
If Davis continues to turn away couples, they can ask a judge to hold her in contempt of court, which can carry steep fines or jail time.
Dan Canon, an attorney representing the couples, said he hopes Davis will simply hand his clients licenses Tuesday, and the controversy will end with that. Davis behind bars is not an outcome they are hoping for, he said.
“But if she continues to defy the court’s order, we cannot let that continue unaddressed,” he said Monday night.
As the clock wound down for Davis on Monday, the tension intensified between dueling groups of protesters outside her office window on the courthouse lawn.
Hexie Mefford has stood on the lawn waving a flag nearly every day for more than two months. The flag is fashioned after Old Glory, …Read More