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Gay Couple And County Clerk Face Off Over Marriage License

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Casey Harper Contributor

A same-sex couple confronted an obstinate Kentucky county clerk who is refusing to give them a marriage license Tuesday. Now the clerk, who is citing religious reasons, could face legal trouble.

Lawyers filed contempt of court charges Tuesday morning after a testy exchange between the couple and the Rowan County clerk, who is defying a court order refusing to issue marriage licenses.

“We’re not leaving until we have a license,” David Ermold, a gay man requesting the license, told Kim Davis, the county clerk refusing to issue one.

“Then you’re going to have a long day,” Davis replied.

This was the fourth time the couple has been denied by the clerk, who says her faith as an Apostolic Christian does not allow her to put her name on a marriage license for a same-sex couple, CNN reports.

The U.S. Supreme Court late Monday denied an emergency request by the clerk that she not have to issue marriage licenses while awaiting appeal. Lower courts have already ruled against the clerk, but she has still refused. She can’t be fired from her post because she is an elected official.

To simultaneously hem against legal action and issuing gay marriage licenses, the courthouse has stopped giving out licenses altogether,  The Courier-Journal reports.

In her legal defense, Davis’ lawyers say her “conscience forbids her from approving a (same-sex marriage) license — because the prescribed form mandates that she authorize the proposed union and issue a license bearing her own name and imprimatur.”

This clerk is one of the last remnants of the same-sex marriage battle after the Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriage in a 5-4 June ruling. The ACLU is suing on behalf of four couples who have been denied marriage licenses, two of them straight and two of them same-sex.

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