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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”).
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.
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.