Kentucky Clerk Won't Interfere, Will Not Authorize Gay Marriage Licenses
MOREHEAD, Kentucky - Kim Davis, the embattled county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, said Monday that she is being "forced to disobey her God" by allowing her office to issue licenses to gay couples.
Last week upon being released from detention, Davis was warned by U.S. District Judge David Bunning not to interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses, directly or indirectly, or face further time behind bars for contempt.
Speaking outside the Rowan County Courthouse as she returned to work this morning, Davis announced that any licenses issued by her office, with or without her name on the form, would be "unauthorized."
"I want the whole world to know ... If any [deputy clerk] feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them. However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order."
Davis continued to ask for an accommodation for her religious beliefs against having to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
She said that having her name on the marriage certificate, whether she signs it or not, "authorizes marriage that conflicts with God's definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman [and] violates my deeply-held religious convictions and conscience. For me, this would be an act of disobedience to my God.
"Whether I personally issue the license or whether one of my deputies issues it, the result is the same. The license is issued under the authority of Kim Davis, County Clerk of Rowan County."
"I don't want to have this conflict. I don't want to be in the spotlight, and I certainly don't want to be a whipping post; I am no hero," Davis said. "I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience. And so this morning, I am forced to fashion a remedy that reconciles my conscience with Judge Bunning's orders. Effective immediately and until an accommodation is provided by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me."