Casey Co. Clerk says conscience won't allow him to issue marriag - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Casey Co. Clerk says conscience won't allow him to issue marriage licenses

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Casey Davis, the Casey Count Clerk, says his conscience won't allow him to issue marriage licenses. Casey Davis, the Casey Count Clerk, says his conscience won't allow him to issue marriage licenses.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage is legal, but in some Kentucky counties it's still not happening.

Casey Davis, the Casey County Clerk, says his conscience will not allow him to issue a same-sex marriage license. Because of that, he has stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

But he's not alone, clerks in Lawrence and Rowan counties were also refusing to issue marriage licenses, defying the court's ruling -- though Lawrence County has since resumed.

Five couples walked through the doors of the Clerk's Office in Liberty, Ky., hoping to get marriage licenses on Tuesday. All were turned away.

“I am answering a higher power than people that wear black robes. My person I answer to wears a white one,” Davis said.

Although his convictions are strong, Davis insists he's not trying to push his beliefs on others.

“I think they do have the right to live however they choose. But, I do too. I have the same right.”

Davis wrote a letter to the governor asking to be extended the same courtesy as Attorney General Jack Conway, who chose not to appeal a ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

“His conscience wouldn't allow him to do his and the Governor recognized that. Why is it different in my case?” Davis asked.

The move has gained national attention and Davis says he's received dozens of emails of support -- along with threatening messages.

When asked how long he planned to keep denying marriage licenses, Davis replied, “As long as I am able.”

Conway's office released a statement saying: “Any clerk that refuses to issue marriage licenses is opening himself or herself to potential legal liability and sanctions.”

Davis says he will not resign and, in fact, he'd rather go to jail.

Geralynn Matteson says his decision is already affecting her family.

“I have a cousin who is getting married and she has to get a whole another county to get a license -- just to be married! -- It's not right,” Matteson said.

But, Davis does see a compromise. He says he'd be comfortable if marriage licenses could be issued online.

“We're paying bills, we're doing banking, we're doing most everything online,” Davis noted. “Why then could that not be an option?”

Davis has three-and-a-half years left in his term as County Clerk.

More: Kentucky clerks object to Supreme Court ruling, halt marriage licenses

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