Federal judge rules Kentucky clerk obeying law in issuing marriage licenses

Federal judge rules Kentucky clerk obeying law in issuing marriage licenses

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is obeying orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples according to a federal court ruling [order] Tuesday. US District Judge David Bunning denied a request by the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] to order Davis to reissue licenses she had altered by removing her name and title. The judge found [CBS/AP report] that Davis had issued licenses to anyone eligible since September and the alterations were “likely valid” under Kentucky law. The ACLU asked that Davis be forced to reissue the licenses and not interfere with her deputies willing to sign them or face further punishment. In December Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed an executive order [JURIST report] to no longer require county clerks’ names to appear on marriage licenses.

Following the US Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges [JURIST report] in June, Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex or heterosexual couples arguing that her Christian faith should exempt her from issuing the licenses to same-sex couples. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ordered [JURIST report] Davis to issue the licenses in August, but she continued to refuse [JURIST report]. The following week, the Supreme Court denied [JURIST report] her bid to continue refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples pending an appeal. A federal judge held Davis in contempt of court [JURIST report] in September for her continued refusal, releasing her after several days in jail. Davis claimed upon returning to work that she would not block her clerks [JURIST report] from issuing the licenses.