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Can a Government Official Claim Religious Exemption from Performing Official Duties?

 
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 01:50 pm
Quote:
Federal judge says decision in same-sex marriage case to come in August

COVINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - A federal judge heard testimony Monday from Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who stopped issuing marriage licenses because same-sex marriage violates her religious beliefs.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning, son of former Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, heard testimony Monday from Davis, the clerk who is at the center of a federal lawsuit filed by The American Civil Liberties Union. Earlier this month, Bunning heard testimony from the couples involved in the lawsuit. He did not make a decision after hearing testimony Monday, but said he would have one the week of Aug. 11.
http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Clerk-who-stopped-issuing-marriage-licenses-could-testify-317514591.html
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 02:04 pm
The ACLU filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court For Eastern Kentucky. A pdf copy of the complaint can be found here:
http://www.aclu-ky.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Rowan-complaint.pdf
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 03:00 pm
@wandeljw,
listening
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 03:36 pm
@ossobuco,
According to the ACLU complaint, the county clerk is violating the establishment clause:
"The primary or principal purpose for the adoption of Defendants’ policy
was to promote one particular religious viewpoint about marriage."
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 03:50 pm
@wandeljw,
Ah, so.
I'll go with the aclu on this one.
Bunning, I remember him.

Me, I think of marriage as a carpet, very important in many cultures. Also, important legally in many cultures.

I had good friends who got married for tax reasons; it's been many years now.

My own view is that religious ceremony people should go for it. Me, I remember a photo I took of a bride and groom at the Campidoglio in Rome, she all dressed wonderfully. They were just leaving after signing in for the state ceremony.

Legal does matter, for most of us.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2015 11:48 am
"County clerks in the state of Kentucky take an oath to uphold the Constitution—in its entirety. The oath does not permit them to pick and choose which bits they decide to obey. They are, in effect, asking the government to treat them as ministers, rather than public officials, while drawing salaries that are funded by the very people they seek to discriminate against."
- Sarah Jones of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
0 Replies
 
HesDeltanCaptain
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2015 06:56 am
@wandeljw,
Can or can't will be decided by the courts.

Should they or shouldn't they is a question for us to consider.

I don't think in the course of performing official duties like issueing marriage licenses, an individual's religious objections should be respected in that on-spec someone could refuse to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple if legal in that area just because the clerk objects. Wanna object work for your religion's church or relted business.

When you agree to work for the government you agree to shelve your personal opinions and positions.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2015 07:23 am
Quote:
Clerk sues Kentucky governor over gay marriage directive
(iFreePress, August 7, 2015)

Kentucky’s anti-gay Rowan County Clerk is suing the state’s governor for insisting that she and other clerks in the state issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

This on the heels of the ACLU’s recently-filed lawsuit against Davis, who herself refused to issue marriage licenses on account of it “violating [her] religious views”.

Under Kentucky law, county clerks are required to issue and sign every marriage license. The governor had ordered that clerks issue the licenses following the Supreme Court decision in June in favor of marriage equality.

Rather than serve gay couples, Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples, which resulted in a lawsuit filed by four couples, half of whom are gay, against Davis.
http://www.ifreepress.com/5543-clerk-sues-kentucky-governor-over-gay-marriage-directive/
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 05:33 pm
Quote:
Board: Ohio judges can't choose marriage type they perform
(WLWT News, August 10, 2015)

An Ohio judicial board has ruled that judges who perform weddings can't refuse same-sex couples based on personal, moral or religious beliefs.

The board also says judges who stop performing all marriages to avoid marrying same-sex couples may be interpreted as biased and could be disqualified from any case where sexual orientation is an issue.
http://www.wlwt.com/news/board-ohio-judges-cant-choose-marriage-type-they-perform/34637576
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 08:06 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

Quote:
Board: Ohio judges can't choose marriage type they perform
(WLWT News, August 10, 2015)
...The board also says judges who stop performing all marriages to avoid marrying same-sex couples may be interpreted as biased and could be disqualified from any case where sexual orientation is an issue.


And with that, I hear the sound of a nail being banged into a coffin.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Aug, 2015 04:29 pm
Quote:
Judge orders Kentucky clerk to issue gay marriage licenses
(Associated Press, August 12, 2015)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same sex-couples.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was one of a handful of local elected officials across the country that stopped issuing marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June. She said issuing a marriage license to a gay couple would violate her Christian beliefs and argued the U.S. Constitution protected her religious freedoms.

Two gay couples and two straight couples in Rowan County sued her, asking a federal judge to order her to issue marriage licenses. U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled Wednesday the couples should not be forced to travel to another county to get a marriage licenses. He said Davis should perform her assigned duties.


pdf copy of ruling: http://www.aclu-ky.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Bunning-Rowan-Ruling-81215.pdf
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Aug, 2015 04:46 pm
From Judge Bunning's ruling:
Quote:
Although the Constitution makes no mention of the right to marry, the U.S. Supreme Court has identified it as a fundamental interest subject to Fourteenth Amendment protection. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967) (striking down Virginia’s antimiscegenation statutes as violative of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment). After all, “[t]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” Id. This right applies with equal force to different-sex and same-sex couples. Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584, 2604-05 (2015) (“[T]he right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment same-sex couples may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.”).
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2015 06:27 am
Regarding the official duties of the county clerk, Judge Bunning writes:
Quote:
Although Davis focuses on the Religious Test Clause, the Court must draw her attention to the first half of Article VI, Clause § 3. It requires all state officials to swear an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. Davis swore such an oath when she took office on January 1, 2015. However, her actions have not been consistent with her words. Davis has refused to comply with binding legal jurisprudence, and in doing so, she has likely violated the constitutional rights of her constituents. When such “sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the State itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied. “ Obergefell, 135 S. Ct. at 2602. Such policies simply cannot endure.

0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2015 02:44 pm
UPDATE
Quote:
Kentucky clerk ordered to court after refusing to issue gay-marriage licenses
(By Jim Higdon, Sarah Larimer and Sandhya Somashekhar, The Washington Post, September 1, 2015)

MOREHEAD, Ky. — A raucous scene unfolded at the county courthouse here Tuesday as a clerk defied a judge’s order to start issuing marriage licenses, citing her religious objections to same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning has set a hearing for 11 a.m. Thursday to determine whether to hold Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in contempt, a charge that could carry with it a fine or jail time.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/09/01/will-kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-issue-gay-marriage-licenses-after-supreme-court-ruling/


ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2015 02:48 pm
@wandeljw,
interesting watching this from north of the border
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2015 03:20 pm
@ehBeth,
It would be more interesting if she had some closely held religious belief like a couples who had "lived in sin" were not eligible to get married. That would be fun. Or maybe a prohibition against mixed race couples. I doubt she would be getting the same amount of support.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2015 09:48 am
@wandeljw,
Clerks and Recreation:
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/6bf5b2324b/clerks-and-recreation-with-kim-davis?_cc=__d___&_ccid=hbw9kg.nu23ql
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2015 12:24 pm
mark
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  3  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2015 12:41 pm
ugh, when she took the job she was knowingly serving the public. Now she is serving only herself in this instance. She has a choice to work or not work, but which ever she chooses, she should be performing the job she receives tax dollars for doing. Gays pay the same taxes the straights do so should be eligible for the same governmental supplied services.
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2015 01:11 pm
@McGentrix,
Yep, and I have little doubt as to whether she's voluntarily giving back a % of her salary paid for by the tax dollars of gay people. Hint: she ain't.

It is ostentatious, it is way beyond anything that anyone would see as in scope with her duties or what she was elected (!) to do, and the whole tantrum is probably being bankrolled by some lovely people.

This is not belief. It is not religion. It is grandstanding, all tied up with a nice neat prejudiced/wacky-ass bow. At her most sympathetic, she looks like a lunatic.
0 Replies
 
 

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