| LOUISVILLE, Ky.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. A Kentucky county clerk's office
on Thursday defied a federal judge's order by continuing to
block marriage licenses for same-sex couples, saying the legal
case was still pending.
The Rowan County clerk's office turned away at least three
same-sex couples who tried to get marriage licenses, according
to local media and court documents.
Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk, who stopped issuing all
marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling
legalizing gay marriage, is on vacation. Nathan Davis, a
relative who also works at the clerk's office, told Reuters the
office was not currently taking licenses because of the active
litigation. He declined to comment further.
In a court filing, plaintiff April Miller said she and Karen
Roberts tried on Thursday to obtain a marriage license shortly
before 12 p.m. ET and were rebuffed.
"Upon asking a deputy clerk for a marriage license
application, Ms. Roberts and I were informed that the Rowan
County Clerk's office will not issue any marriage licenses,"
Miller said in the filing.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported David Moore and David
Ermold tried but failed to get a marriage license on Thursday,
while the Louisville Courier-Journal said James Yates and Will
Smith also were unsuccessful. None of the men could immediately
be reached to comment.
Kentucky is not alone in facing unresolved issues related to
gay marriage since the Supreme Court's ruling.
On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals said a suburban
Denver baker could not cite his religious beliefs in refusing to
make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In Florida, a lawsuit
challenged the state's refusal to issue same-sex couples
accurate birth certificates listing both spouses as parents of
On Wednesday, gay rights advocates in Mississippi filed a
lawsuit in federal court challenging the state's ban on adoption
by same-sex couples.
Shortly after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling, Kentucky
Governor Steve Beshear ordered the state's 120 county clerks to
begin processing same-sex marriage licenses. A few, including
Davis, decided to disregard it because of what they said was
their Christian belief that marriage can be only between a man
and a woman.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning issued
a preliminary injunction ordering Davis' office to process
license applications from all couples, saying she had to live up
to her responsibilities as county clerk.
"Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian
beliefs," he wrote in his decision. "She is even free to believe
that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many
Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse
her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform
as Rowan County Clerk."
Davis filed an appeal shortly after Wednesday's order and on
Thursday sought to stay the injunction until an appellate court
could render its decision.
Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, which provides
pro bono representation related to issues of "religious freedom,
the sanctity of life and the family" and is representing Davis'
office, said it was premature to discuss what would happen if
the stay was denied. Roger Gannam, also with Liberty Counsel,
said on Wednesday: "She is resolute in protecting her rights."
Bunning set a deadline of Friday afternoon for the
plaintiffs to respond to Davis' stay request, and a Monday
afternoon deadline for Davis to file a response.