Friday, July 3, 2015

Supreme Court fallout: ACLU sues Kentucky clerk for refusing wedding licenses

Let the lawsuits begin ...

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against a Kentucky clerk for refusing to give wedding licenses to four couples, two of whom were gay.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis said her religious beliefs barred her from complying with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires states to marry gays. And instead of discriminating against gays, she decided to stop issuing licenses altogether – for homosexuals and heterosexuals, fox News reported.

The scene at the Supreme Court during gay marriage debate.
Davis is hardly alone.

A clerk in Decatur County, Tennessee, resigned her post, along with two office assistants, because of their opposition to the high court's ruling and their worries about lawsuits if they stood strong on their religious beliefs.

And in New Orleans, the state Office of Vital Records hesitated on issuing same-sex marriage licenses until late this week, the Associated Press reported.

Kentucky's highest-ranking – Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway – warned clerks on Friday, right after the court's decision made the media waves, to comply or risk criminal charges that could bring up to a year in jail.

Some clerks failed to immediately comply, but then changed their minds. Davis, however, said she couldn't, and wouldn't ever, issuing a gay marriage license.

"It's a deep-rooted conviction. My conscience won't allow me to do that," she said, Fox News reported. "It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life."

ACLU filed it s suit in U.S. District Court in Ashland, requesting an injunction that would compel Davis to start issuing licenses and punitive damages for allegedly violating the couple's court-stamped rights.

In court documents, ACLU legal director William Sharp said Davis' religious beliefs are "not a compelling, important or legitimate government interest."

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