Meanwhile, resistance to the gay marriage ruling in Texas has been led by the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, and Senator and Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz, who have been pushing government workers to defy the court’s decision and prevent it from being upheld. In return, they are informed that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has made a “choice” to not allow marriage licensing.
Davis, the Casey County court clerk, is one of the local elected officials across the country who have cited religious beliefs in refusing to comply with the US Supreme Court’s ruling last month legalizing same-sex marriages nationwide. During the meeting, approximately 50 of Davis’ friends and family members gathered to pray at the capitol rotunda. “We simply don’t know”.
A video has emerged of a same-sex couple, who have been together for 17 years, requesting a marriage license at a Kentucky county clerk’s office and flatly being denied.
The statement added: “One of Mr. Davis’ duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme Court now says that the United States Constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender”.
“This morning, I advised Mr. Davis that I respect his right to his own personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriages”, Beshear wrote in a statement following the meeting.
But despite the effort, Davis said that he was told by Beshear that he must either issue the licenses or step down. Beshear has refused to do so, the Associated Press reports.
“If that’s what it takes for me to express the freedom of religion that I believe I was born with, I’m willing to do that”, Davis told reporters. “My job can not go beyond what my conscience allows”. Beshear has declined to do that, saying it would cost taxpayers $60,000 for each day the legislature was in session. Davis is currently being sued by four couples for failing to issue gay marriage licenses. “And that relieves the 120 county clerks of this state”.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo has called for a special session and said he was drafting legislation. Conway was emboldened by the example of Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder, who in 2011 also refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress under the Clinton administration in 1996. “These are people who swore an oath to Kentucky’s Constitution which defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman”.
Bevin said if he were governor he would “work proactively with the legislature to fulfill legal obligations, while protecting religious freedoms”. The organization is considering a similar suit against Casey Davis, NBC News reports.