The Slatest

Kentucky County Refuses to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Despite Court Order

A same-sex marriage supporter waves a pride flag while celebrating the U.S Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling on June 26, 2015.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A Kentucky county clerk’s office refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Thursday despite a federal court order compelling county officials to issue licenses. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, a Democrat, has refused on religious grounds to issue marriage licenses of any kind—to same-sex or heterosexual couples—in protest of the Supreme Court’s affirmation in June of gay individuals’ constitutional right to marry in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Here’s more from the New York Times:


On Wednesday, Judge David L. Bunning of United States District Court for Eastern Kentucky, ruling in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four couples — two same-sex and two heterosexual — ordered Ms. Davis to resume issuing licenses. But lawyers for Ms. Davis immediately appealed and sought a stay; Thursday morning, Ms. Davis did not show up at work… In Kentucky, the A.C.L.U. suit is the nation’s first legal test, post-Obergefell, of how far a public official can go in resisting the decision.

In the aftermath of the Obergefell decision there was some pushback based on religious beliefs by some county clerks and judges in parts of the South. Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has warned the state’s clerks their job as elected officials means they must issue marriage licenses or resign from office.