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Godly Kentucky clerk sparks lawsuit

Godly Kentucky clerk sparks lawsuit

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, pictured above with her attorney Roger Gannam, is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Unions for refusing to issue marriage licences one day after the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriages nationwide.

ACLU initiated the lawsuit on behalf of two gay couples and two heterosexual couples.

According to this report, Davis testified this week that she prayed and fasted for months before reaching the decision. She said she’s a member of a local Apostolic church, that she believes the Bible is “God’s holy word” and that it defines marriage as strictly between one man and one woman.

Democratic Governor Steve Beshear instructed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples immediately. At least two clerks refused. Clerks are elected officials. They cannot be removed from office unless impeached by the state legislature.

The couples have asked US District Judge David Bunning to order Davis to issue the marriage licences.

Bunning, who did not rule after the Monday hearing, could order Davis to issue licences, and then fine her or put her in jail if she refuses. But he cannot not remove her from office.

protest

Questioned by Dan Canon, an attorney for the couples seeking marriage licences, Davis said she could not answer on whether she thought clerks could use their religious beliefs to withhold marriage licenses from interracial couples or couples who have been divorced.

Canon asked:

I want to understand what your concept of discretion of a county clerk is. How far does it go?.

Davis wants Governor Beshear to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a law protecting county clerks, possibly by allowing people to receive marriage licences from the state online, but Beshear has declined to call the legislature back, citing the $60,000 per day cost to taxpayers.

Bunning said the earliest he could rule would be mid-August. But it’s unclear how Davis – who has already ignored broader orders from the US Supreme Court and the governor – would react to a judge’s order to issue marriage licences.

I’ll deal with that when the time comes.

It’s reported here that Daniel Canon said after the hearing that Davis’ reasoning, if applied statewide, would create chaos, allowing anyone to deny a licence at any time based on personal religious beliefs. He called it an “unsustainable policy”.

Why should the taxpaying citizens of Rowan County have to go anyplace else aside from their own county to get a marriage license. Why should they be held to a different standard than anybody else?

But Gannam claimed:

This case is not about these plaintiffs’ desires to get married. The case is about the plaintiffs desire to force Kim Davis to approve and authorize their marriage in violation of her constitutionally protected religious beliefs.

During Monday’s hearing, Davis repeatedly cited religious rights under the First Amendment in her defence. She testified that she attends church “every time the doors are open” and performs a Bible study at a local jail once a week.

After working in the clerk’s office for nearly 30 years, she said she has never denied a licence on religious grounds or asked applicants about relationships she might find sinful.

Davis claimed that she is still following the Constitution because it protects expression of religion, and she noted that the Kentucky Constitution limited marriage to one man and one woman when she was elected.

But under cross-examination, she struggled to answer questions about who has the final say in interpreting the Constitution, saying “I’m not a lawyer.”

When asked if the Supreme Court holds final authority, she answered “I suppose.”

Michael Biel, a demonstrator from Rowan County who was out in support of the couples, said Davis needs to do the job she was elected to do.

She was not elected to be a preacher. She was not elected to bring her brand of religion into the courthouse, which is what she has done. Her particular interpretation of her religion is in violation of my interpretation of my religion.

22 responses to “Godly Kentucky clerk sparks lawsuit”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    ‘This case blah blah blah is not blah blah blah about these plaintiffs’ desires to get married blah blah blah . The case is blah blah blah about the plaintiffs blah blah blah desire to force Kim Davis blah blah blah to approve and authorize blah blah blah their marriage in violation blah blah blah of her constitutionally protected blah blah blah religious beliefs blah blah blah.’
    Oh, shut the fuck up and tell the superstitious, bigoted throwback to do the job she was elected to do and is paid, by the American taxpayer, to do.

  2. Bob says:

    Christian registrars can tend to be a little inconsistent about this issue. If Christian registrars don’t want to do “gay” ceremonies then, strictly speaking, they should also refrain from doing ceremonies where a man is marrying a woman after having left his wife to do so (or the other way round) as that is adultery.

    Given that many mariiage ceremonies are between adulterous couples I would say that it is unwise for any Christian to be a registrar. To me that is on a par with working in a betting shop.

  3. Stuart H. says:

    Is that dress mixed fibres?

    Just saying….

  4. Angela_K says:

    It is always about their protected superstitious beliefs, never the rights of others to equality under law. As we’ve so many times before: Don’t like doing your job lest it offend your god, then find another.

  5. L.Long says:

    She is a lying sack of crap!! Because if her religion was SSSssssooo important then when was she sued for not giving a license to a divorced person???

  6. SallyinMI says:

    Since ‘marriage licenses’ are not in the Bible at all, and since she is not officiating at a marriage ceremony, what is her deal? I know, “Christians’ are being attacked. No, they are not. People who use their religion to discriminate are wrong. What if there was a Jewish clerk who didn’t want to serve Gentiles? Or a grandchild of a WW2 vet who refused to do work for Germans? Come on, this is a ploy to get the newest ‘war on Christians’ into the news.
    And where does it end? As someone pointed out, she could be working at a retail store, and refuse to ring up a purchase for a gay couple, or a Chinese man, just because. Honey, you live in the 21st century. If you want to go back two hundred years, I suggest you find a nice Amish community. They, at least, have compassion for everyone.

  7. dennis says:

    these clerks in southern states are not use to being accused of wrong doing. they are pious and wrapped in the word of god when they say amen in court or at the court counter and the bible on their desk. self-righteousness run amuck.

  8. Trevor Blake says:

    Eight centuries have passed since the Magna Carta was signed. It is a pillar of Western civilization, the idea of one law for all. It dies every time a police officer, a President or a clerk decides they are above the law. Lacking the moral strength to resign, she should be fined and fired.

  9. Peterat says:

    She’s a lying bag of crap, she hasn’t fasted for months!

  10. Andrea says:

    Was going to say the same thing Peterat. Looks like she didn’t even fast between lunch and dinner

  11. Laura Roberts says:

    Oh, I think by “fast” she must mean she didn’t eat shrimp. At least, not without cocktail sauce (gods can’t see what’s under cocktail sauce). Or unless it was fried.

    There’s a serious problem if she has to be impeached to be removed from her job. So, we have to rely on Kentucky voters to do the right thing? The phrase “tyranny of the majority” springs to mind.

  12. AgentCormac says:

    @Trevor Blake
    I agree with every word.

  13. Broga says:

    She has that persecuted, aggrieved Christian look to perfection.

  14. Hmmmm says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33656802
    Sorry for OT. And what religious persuasion are these excremental gutter snipes I wonder. Kuffar girls are only fit for one thing … They would not prey upon muslim girls … Too dangerous … Kuffar girls … that’s ok. Well I say if these men need interpreters then they are not indigenous to the UK and they must be deported to the countries from when they came. And if I was really evil I would spread the rumour that they are gay so that the verminous murdering islamic brothers throw them from high buildings.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Trevor Blake: They don’t consider themselves above the law. Oh, no, nothing as pretentious as that. They are merely obeying a higher law.

  16. Broga says:

    It should not be too long before we hear that their human rights have been violated. Also get ready for £1,000,000 in legal aid fees over ten years.

    What’s happening to that other legal aid and housing benefit big spender with the hooks for hands. I suppose he is still in the slammer in the USA.

  17. AgentCormac says:

    @Broga
    ‘She has that persecuted, aggrieved Christian look to perfection.’

    Yes, indeed she does. However, if there was a competition for such a thing I’d have to say that the endlessly miserable, sour-faced, god-bothering retard known as Shirley Chaplin would surely walk off with first prize.

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/0148/nurse_1485331a.jpg

    Anybody got a better contender?

  18. Broga says:

    AgentCormac: In a highly competitive field I agree that Shirley should be awarded the trophy. I wonder what the competition should be called and also what kind of trophy.

  19. Robster says:

    After leaving the Courthouse feeling a bit neglected by her completely invisible magical friend, the clerk popped down to the dress shop to try on that new-poly cotton wonder in the window, then off to the diner for a meal of prawns and shellfish in garlic sauce with added fat before kneeling on the footpath to pray to said fairy, just like in that nasty old book, you know the one, the one they mostly ignore except when it reflects their individual dislikes.

  20. Hmmmm says:

    God obviously does not like fireworks at religious festivals…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33661875

  21. lucy1 says:

    ‘After working in the clerk’s office for nearly 30 years, she said she has never denied a licence on religious grounds or asked applicants about relationships she might find sinful.’

    Then why is she doing it now?