Supreme Court denies Kentucky clerk’s bid not to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Supreme Court denies Kentucky clerk’s bid not to issue same-sex marriage licenses

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday denied [order, PDF] a Kentucky county clerk’s bid to continue refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples pending an appeal. Kim Davis, the clerk for Rowan county, has declined to extend marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges [opinion, PDF], claiming that to do so would infringe upon her religious beliefs. Despite the court’s order, Davis continued to deny same-sex marriage licenses Tuesday, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to file a motion to hold her in contempt [press release].

Introductions of religious exemption bills and refusals to issue licenses have been occurring around the country. In July a federal judge ordered [JURIST report] all Louisiana officials to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Earlier that month a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama issued an order [JURIST report] that all Alabama counties must abide by the Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriage. In June the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a law that would allow some court officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages based on their religious beliefs, overriding a veto [JURIST reports] by Governor Pat McCroy. In May Louisiana legislatures rejected a religious objections bill [JURIST report] that was pushed by Governor Bobby Jindal. A House legal committee voted 10-2 [AP report] to kill the bill, ending weeks of serious debate. However, in an effort to solicit Christian conservatives for his likely presidential bid in 2016, Jindal immediately responded by issuing an executive order aimed at doing essentially the same thing as the bill, just on a smaller scale.