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Kentucky Clerk Defies Federal Court, Denies Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

© Flickr / Photo PhiendGay rights activist celebrates SCOTUS victory in June, 2013.
Gay rights activist celebrates SCOTUS victory in June, 2013. - Sputnik International
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In late June the US Supreme Court declared marriage equality a fundamental right in all 50 states. At that time Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, a Democrat, said that she would not issue licenses to any marriages at all if she had to license them to gay couples as well.

She continues to defy federal court orders to issue marriage licenses to two gay and two straight couples.

Brad Friedman of Sputnik’s The BradCast radio show plays a clip of the argument between Kim Davis and a couple who had come to her to get their marriage license.

In a statement today following the US Supreme Court's refusal yesterday to hear Davis' application for an “asylum of conscience” and her own refusal, once again today, to issue licenses, she said, “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience.”

Defying SCOTUS, Clerk is Still Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses
In today’s show Brad Friedman talks to the attorney, Joe Dunman, who is the co-counsel to the four couples who are now suing the Rowan County clerk.

“She's not obligated to solemnize a marriage at all. The only thing she has to do is stamp her name on the documents that are filed with the state,” Dunman said regarding Davis’s refusal to issue a license to the couple.

“In her arguments so far, she claims that [by] putting her name on it, she is 'authorizing and blessing' those marriages.”

But the US District Court Judge “disagreed, and said “look, you're just certifying that they meet the legal standards, that they're eligible for a marriage license — that’s all you're doing. You're not blessing anything. For that reason she doesn't have a religious objection. Not to mention that there's no case law to support the idea that public officials have religious rights that trump the civil rights of other people.”

Friedman talks to Dunman about how the case is so fascinating because Davis is essentially standing up to the US Supreme Court.

“Extending her logic outward, there's really no end to what a public official could do. All they'd have to claim that they sincerely believe something, and they just do it,” Dunman explains.

“I want people to imagine a Muslim clerk in Kentucky denying licenses to Christian couples as they walk in the door, and whether or not people would be standing up for 'religious freedom.’”

But Kim Davis is making a ‘religious freedom’ comment as well which Friedman talks about during the show explaining what this means exactly. There are two other counties in the US that are refusing license to gay couples.

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