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The Man Behind Gay Marriage Ruling Writes Open Letter To Kim Davis

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Casey Harper Contributor

The man whose lawsuit sparked the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in the U.S. wrote an open letter Wednesday condemning Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses.

Jim Obergefell sued when the state of Ohio refused to recognize his and his late husband’s Maryland marriage, in part because he wanted legal recognition as a widower. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and resulted in the landmark decision this summer to legalize gay marriage nationwide.

Obergefell wrote the letter with the ACLU, which is demanding the government force Davis to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses.

“You’re imposing the same indignities on couples in Rowan County that John and I suffered when Ohio would not legally recognize us as a married couple,” Obergefell writes, adding: “No one is above the law, Kim, not even you.”

More than 4,000 people have signed the letter.

“Do not stand in the way of others seeking their legal right to have their love recognized,” he added.

The letter comes after reports Pope Francis had a secret meeting with Kim Davis during his visit to the United States last week. Davis says the pope encouraged her to “stay strong,” but the Vatican would neither confirm nor deny the meeting took place.

Davis has still refused to issue marriage licenses, but her staff has been issuing them in a compromise a judge found agreeable enough to release Davis from jail.

“Are we not big enough, loving enough, and tolerant enough to find a way to accommodate my deeply held religious convictions?” Davis asked in a prepared statement earlier this month. “While my case may be the most visible right now, there are millions of people in public and private sectors that are in the same position and who also need reasonable accommodations.”

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