Supreme Court Again Tells Kentucky County Clerk to Issue Marriage Licenses
UPDATE: Rowan Co. Clerk Kim Davis continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses, citing her religious beliefs. This story will be updated.
ORIGINAL POST (Monday night):
The United States Supreme Court on Monday ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to begin issuing marriage licenses, something the Democrat has refused to do since the same court, in a 5-4 decision, granted nationwide same-sex marriage rights.
The Courier-Journal spoke with Davis's attorney:
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis will have to choose whether to issue marriage licenses, defying her Christian conviction, or continue to refuse them, defying a federal judge who could pummel her with fines or order that she be hauled off to jail.
“She’s going to have to think and pray about her decision overnight. She certainly understands the consequences either way,” Mat Staver, founder of the law firm representing Davis, said on Monday, hours before a court-ordered delay in the case expired. “She’ll report to work tomorrow, and face whatever she has to face.”
Davis first gained national attention when a viral video showed her refusing to issue a marriage license to two men in Morehead, even after the Supreme Court and Governor Steve Beshear told her to.
That couple is now seeking legal action, meaning Davis could soon face another judge:
Meanwhile, a couple that had been turned away went to Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins to ask that she be charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor defined by state law as a public official who “refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office.” The crime is punishable by up to a year in jail.
Watkins cited a conflict of interest and forwarded the complaint to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, whose office will decide whether to appoint a special prosecutor, generally a county attorney from a surrounding jurisdiction, who would decide whether to file charges.
Attorney General Jack Conway is reportedly reviewing the case. Conway, the Democratic nominee for governor, supports same-sex marriage rights.