Kim Davis Faces Last Fight In Same-Sex Marriage Battle

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Casey Harper Contributor
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Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis is attempting to end her long legal battle for refusing to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

Davis’ legal team filed a motion Tuesday requesting a federal appeals court dismiss the lawsuit against her after Kentucky passed a law to accommodate Davis and clerks like her. After the Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, Davis made headlines for refusing to issue marriage licenses. She was sued and jailed for five days for her refusal and became a national point of debate on the ongoing legal struggle to find the line between freedom of conscience and discrimination.

Davis was released from jail  when other employees in the clerk’s office began issuing licenses. Her office continued issuing the licenses without her name.

In April, Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill that brings “statutory finality” to the long battle over marriage licenses in the state. The law, which takes effect July 14, changes marriage licenses so they do not include the county clerk’s name and allow people to check whether they are a bride, groom or spouse.

Because of this new law, Davis says the suit against her should be dismissed.

“Because Davis’ appeals are rendered moot by this recent legislative enactment before the merits of her appeals have been decided, this Court, in dismissing the appeals, should also follow its normal course of vacating the district court’s orders on appeal,” Davis’ motion reads.

It remains to be seen how the court will respond. A hearing is set for July.

“From the beginning, Kim Davis requested the very accommodation for her religious convictions that the Kentucky legislature passed and which Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law,” Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, the group representing Davis, said in a statement. “The previous governor could have made the same accommodation but refused to do so. Instead, he was willing to violate deeply-held religious convictions about marriage in order to press his ideological agenda. Now that Kim Davis obtained the accommodation she has always requested, we notified the Court of Appeals that the case has become moot and no further legal proceedings are needed. We are very pleased with this outcome.”

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