Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis returns to work
She says she will not issue licenses that go against her religious beliefs
Davis offers a path for her deputies to issue licenses to same-sex couples
But that didn’t stop Carmen and Shannon Wampler-Collins from successfully walking out of the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk’s office with a marriage license in hand.
Monday was Davis’ first day back in her office after spending five days in jail for defying a court order and refusing to give licenses to same-sex couples.
Before starting her workday, Davis appeared defiant, saying she will not issue any marriage licenses that go against her religious beliefs — but she left the door open for her deputies to continue giving out marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as those documents do not have Davis’ name or title on them.
The marriage license that the couple received said “pursuant to federal court order” on it, and instead of listing Davis’ name and Rowan County, it says city of Morehead, the county seat.
Davis’ work-around — not to sign licenses but not to interfere with her deputies if they do so — produced more questions than answers.
She acknowledged she is not sure on the legality of licenses altered in such a way.
On her first day back at work, Davis read a statement calling for state authorities to find a solution to accommodate her religious beliefs.
“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,” Davis said.
In the meantime, she has offered what she considers an interim solution, but it is unclear if it passes legal muster:
U.S. District Judge David Bunning “indicated last week that he was willing to accept altered marriage license even though he was not certain of their validity,” Davis said. “I, too, have great doubts whether the license issued under these conditions are even valid.”
Read the judge’s order
Parsing Davis’ statement
Davis was clear on one thing: She will not sign any marriage licenses for same-sex couples, and her deputies are not authorized to issue them either.
But, she added, if her deputies go against her orders and provide marriage certificates to same-sex couples anyway, she will not take any action against them.
So, is Davis continuing …Read More