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Couples sue Christian clerk who won't issue marriage licenses

Protesters at the Rowan County, Ky., Judicial Center earlier this week Associated Press/Photo by Timothy D. Easley

Couples sue Christian clerk who won't issue marriage licenses

Four Kentucky couples—two heterosexual and two homosexual—have sued a county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to them.

“My conscience will not allow me to issue a license for a same-sex couple because I know that God ordained marriage from the very foundation of this world to be between a man and a woman,” Rowan County clerk Kim Davis told local news channel LEX18. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex couples have the right to receive marriage licenses. Shortly thereafter, Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear, a Democrat, ordered all of the state’s county clerks to comply with the ruling.

Davis has not issued any marriage licenses since then despite dozens of protesters outside her office in Morehead, Ky. One couple said the clerk’s office directed them to try another county. Kentucky law allows adult couples to apply for and receive marriage licenses in any county, not just the one where they live.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in federal court Thursday on behalf of the couples. The suit claims Davis’ duties as a government official should supercede her religious beliefs.

One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, Laura Landenwich, wrote that Davis “has the absolute right to believe whatever she wants about God, faith, and religion, but as a government official who swore an oath to uphold the law, she cannot pick and choose who she is going to serve, or which duties her office will perform based on her religious beliefs.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas.



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