Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis continues to refuse to do her job.
Davis has been in the news quite a lot recently for unilaterally deciding to stop issuing marriage licenses to all couples in her county. This is her way of protesting the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States, including Rowan County. The elected official has tearfully explained that issuing marriages to same sex couples violates her right to push her faith on ordinary citizens, and has opted to refuse to issue marriage licenses to any couples in Rowan County. Davis has also refused to deputize another clerk, despite being ordered to issue marriage licenses in the jurisdiction.
Davis’ latest act of bigotry came on Thursday (August 27), when she refused to issue a marriage license to William Smith Jr. and James Yates – for the third time. After the couple was denied their license, Davis closed the office. A note was taped to the office door, which read, “Sorry our office is closed for computer upgrades. ETA 1 hour”. After she walked out of the office, a steady stream of deputy clerks followed and drove away, effectively getting a half-day paid vacation. PopWrapped does not recommend readers try this at home as most employers fire staff members for failing to perform their jobs.
On Wednesday (August 26) a federal appeals court agreed with and upheld the lower court’s ruling that ordered Davis to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis has hired lawyer Mat Staver, of the Liberty Counsel based in Florida, to represent her in her fight to push selected religious beliefs on Rowan County residents. Staver plans to file paperwork with the Supreme Court asking the court to delay the order until Davis has exhausted her appeals process. This could take several months.
In the meantime, Rowan County still refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex or opposite-sex couples, preferring to shut down the office instead. As Yates said:
They just don’t like gay people, they don’t want us to get married. And they’d rather burn the earth and not let straight people in Rowan County get married either.
There are currently 10 different petitions on change.org calling for Davis to resign or be removed from her position and one calling on her to cover the legal fees for what is going to be an expensive and lengthy court battle. Many commenters point out that Davis was not refusing to issue marriage licenses to previously divorced individuals, and others mention rumours that Davis herself has been previously divorced.
The bible prohibits people who have been divorced from remarrying, though there have been no reports of divorced individuals in Rowan County being denied the right to marry before the legalization of same-sex marriage.