Casey County Clerk wants governor to intervene in same sex marri - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Casey County Clerk wants governor to intervene in same sex marriage controversy

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The standoff continues over same-sex marriage in Kentucky, and now one county clerk is asking the governor to step in.

Gov. Steve Beshear is again urging county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite their religious convictions, but he stopped short of saying those who don't should resign.

"I'm proud that the vast majority of clerks have marched on and are doing their job," Beshear told WDRB following an event in Lexington.

But Casey County Clerk Casey Davis is not one of them. He came to the state Capitol on Monday hoping to meet with Beshear.

Davis has refused to issue any marriage licenses since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. He wants the governor to step in to help, perhaps even to issue an executive order protecting clerks who object.

"I think that I deserve some sort of relief," he said. "I took an oath to do this job to the best of my abilities, so help me God. And my ability cannot go beyond what my conscience allows."

But earlier Beshear told reporters that clerks have an obligation to obey the Supreme Court ruling.

"The Supreme Court has said that the Constitution of the United States allows same-sex couples to marry. So, if you are going to uphold that Constitution and uphold your oath, then you would follow through on that kind of action," said Beshear.

But Beshear would not say whether clerks who could not obey should resign.

"That’s going to be a matter up to each local person and local voters," he said.

Meantime, the Family Foundation of Kentucky announced it is setting up a legal defense fund to help county clerks who are sued for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"We want to protect religious liberty and, in particular, the religious liberty of the individuals that are under fire," said Executive Director Kent Ostrander.

Davis says he's prepared to go to court if necessary, and says he will not resign.

Davis did not get his meeting with the governor, but was promised one as soon as this week. However, this is not an issue on which Gov. Beshear seems willing to bend.

"I took the same oath they did, and that oath is to uphold that constitutional ruling, regardless of how you may feel about it," he said.

Gov. Beshear declined to give his own opinion on the same-sex marriage ruling, saying there would be time for that later, presumably after he leaves office in December.

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