KY County Clerk Ordered to Issue Marriage Licenses Again, Still Refusing to Do So

In Depth

If there’s one thing that can be said about Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, it’s that she’s really committed to wearing ankle-length denim skirts in public. Also, she’s also a tireless bigot who continues to refuse gay and lesbian women marriage licenses even though the courts have ordered her to do it twice.

Davis, who’s upheld the sanctity of marriage a whopping four times herself and has recently won an award for her brave fight to stand up for her religious principles (see her tear-stained acceptance above), is continuing to ignore the orders of both an original ruling that forbids her from refusing marriage licenses based on her religious precepts, as well as a newer ruling that makes it clear that she can’t refuse to issue licenses while she’s appealing the original decision. Couples who showed up to collect licenses after both rulings were denied, and they’re still being denied, even though what Davis is doing is now completely and irrefutably illegal.

The Washington Post reports that in the first ruling against her, Davis was admonished for not doing her job or respecting the decisions of the Supreme Court:

“Our form of government will not survive unless we, as a society, agree to respect the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions, regardless of our personal opinions,” Judge David L. Bunning of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky wrote. “Davis is certainly free to disagree with the court’s opinion, as many Americans likely do, but that does not excuse her from complying with it. To hold otherwise would set a dangerous precedent.”

Davis, however, follows the belief that no man can make a law higher than god, and is still hiding away in her office when people show up for licenses and/or telling people who’d like to get married in their home county that they’ll just need to go somewhere else. All this despite the fact that she’s literally collecting a paycheck for not doing her job.

While Davis’ misguided attempt is admirable in the abstract—if not in any way respectable in practice—it’s important to point out that crime and adultery are also against the county clerk’s beliefs. And yet, until same-sex marriage was made legal by the Supreme Court, Davis wasn’t making any noises about issuing licenses to couples who may have had a history of infidelity or a rap sheet. And the people who live in her county are calling the clerk’s actions not just despicable but cruel.

Here’s what David Ermold, one half of a same-sex couple that’s been denied a license several times, had to say about the actions of Davis and other clerks who have refused to follow the law.

“She’s wrong, and these people are cruel to do this to us,” Ermold said. “… We have waited for years to get married. We have been together forever. He wanted to wait until it was legal in all the states.” Ermold added: “This is the way gay people are treated in this country. … If nothing comes of this, at least I hope that other people understand that this is wrong.”
“This is our home county, this is where we live, this is where we pay taxes,” [Ermold’s partner David]Moore said. “This is telling someone: ‘We don’t what you here.’”

According to Moore, the last time he and his partner tried to get a license, Davis got very emotional and lectured the pair about Adam and Eve who are A) not real and B) did not, like Davis, marry four times—she really doesn’t have a leg to stand on there.

A call to the clerk’s office revealed that Davis is in the office, but will not be making statements or speaking to anyone. The deputy clerk, who identified himself only as “Jimmy,” stated that any questions about the matter should be addressed to Davis’ attorneys. No one will be getting married in Rowan County today.

“Kind of fucked up that you guys are refusing to follow the law,” I said to Jimmy as he tried to get me off the phone.

“Definitely, well,” he said,“have a great day, sir.”

Elsewhere in the state, Casey Davis—another county clerk who refuses to compromise his religious beliefs, no blood relation to Kim Davis—has started a 400 mile bike ride to spread awareness of Kim Davis’ persecution.

“I cannot let my sister go to jail without my doing something to let others know about her plight,” Casey said in the statement.

The Rowan County Clerk’s office can be reached here. Staff at the office have been told not to give callers their names at this time.

Contact the author at [email protected].

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