The county clerk from Kentucky jailed after refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples said Monday on her return to work she will not block her deputies from issuing them but will not authorize them, as one couple celebrated their marriage.Shannon and Carmen Wampler-Collins received a marriage license late Monday morning from a deputy clerk as friends and family in the clerk’s office chanted “love has won” while demonstrators opposed to gay marriage shouted in the background. Outside, Davis supporters called gay marriage a sin.The couple, now 45 and 46 years old, respectively, had a commitment ceremony 20 years ago and have two sons. They legally changed their name years ago.Elizabeth Johnston and Flip Benham, who organized rallies for Davis at the county jail, called for Deputy Clerk Brian Mason, who has been issuing licenses, to be fired.Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, 49, who has said her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian prevent her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has been under the threat of returning to jail if she interfered in the issuance of licenses.Davis said she doubted the validity of licenses that are set to be issued, which she said would state that they are being issued under U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order.Davis told a news conference any such licenses would not carry her name, title or personal authorization. She said she would take no action against deputy clerks who issued licenses but does not believe they have the authority to do so.”I’m here before you this morning with a seemingly impossible choice that I do not wish on any of my fellow Americans: my conscience or my freedom,” Davis said.
Jeff Grubb, an atheist who has lived in Morehead for 30 years, told a deputy clerk he would stop paying his annual car taxes. “She’s not doing her job, and I’m not going to use my tax money to support … this county government until they recognize the separation of church and state,” Grubb said.The issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky and other states has become the focal point in a long-running debate over gay marriage, which became legal nationwide following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June.Supporters see Davis as being persecuted for her beliefs while opponents say she is abdicating her duties by trying to ban gay marriage which is now the law …Read More