Judge orders Kentucky clerk to issue gay marriage licenses - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge orders Kentucky clerk to issue gay marriage licenses

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same sex-couples.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was one of a handful of local elected officials across the country that stopped issuing marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June. She said issuing a marriage license to a gay couple would violate her Christian beliefs and argued the U.S. Constitution protected her religious freedoms.

Two gay couples and two straight couples in Rowan County sued her, asking a federal judge to order her to issue marriage licenses. U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled Wednesday the couples should not be forced to travel to another county to get a marriage licenses. He said Davis should perform her assigned duties.

"Government officials have a duty to impartially administer the law," said ACLU of Kentucky executive director Michael Aldridge. "When a law is updated, they cannot refuse to provide essential public services simply because they object, for personal religious reasons.”

Attorney Dan Canon added, “The ruling represents a total victory for our clients, and a reaffirmation of the institutions we have in place to protect American democracy. Elected officials cannot be permitted to ignore the rule of law by governing according to their own private beliefs.”

In his opinion, Judge Bunning stated Davis’ “religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.”

Previous: ACLU files lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk over marriage license refusals

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