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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

By Steve Bittenbender

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Reuters) – Lawyers for jailed Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis said on Monday they had asked an appellate court to force Governor Steve Beshear to let her refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses based on her religious convictions.

The lawyers sought emergency relief from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to grant Davis an exemption from the “governor’s mandate that all county clerks issue marriage licenses,” the non-profit legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis, said in a news release.

“The governor’s refusal to take elementary steps to protect religious liberties has now landed Kim Davis in jail,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said.

The lawyers sought the injunction on the fifth day that Davis, 49, was in jail for contempt of court after defying U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s orders to issue licenses to same-sex couples because as an Apostolic Christian she opposes gay marriage.

“As a prisoner of her conscience, Davis continues to request a simple accommodation and exemption from Governor Beshear, who is overseeing Kentucky marriage policy,” said the emergency request for an injunction.

Outside Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, where Davis was being held, about 150 supporters gathered, local media reported. On Tuesday, Republican president hopeful Mike Huckabee was expected to hold a rally in support of Davis outside the jail.

A group of about 30 demonstrators descended on Bunning’s neighborhood in a Cincinnati suburb in northern Kentucky to pass out fliers in support of Davis, said Lieutenant Casey Kilgore of the Fort Thomas Police Department.

“(We’re) encouraging all the neighbors to pray for David Bunning to let Kim Davis go,” protest organizer Cal Zastrow said.

The exemption would cover all marriage licenses. The lawyers in their court filings on Monday referred to some of the options they have suggested other than mandating the clerk’s name on all marriage licenses. They ranged from having the county judge executive issue the licenses to allowing a deputy clerk to issue them devoid of Davis’s name or authority as Rowan County Clerk.

(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Cynthia Osterman)

Photo: Rowan County clerk Kim Davis is shown in this booking photo provided by the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Carter County Detention Center/Handout via Reuters

  • Paragryne

    Dismiss with prejudice.

  • Insinnergy

    They (the crazy evangelical right) have not thought this though.
    If you pass an exemption to Law based on religious faith then you get:
    – Satanist Bakers taking the right to refuse to serve Christian customers.
    – Flying Spaghetti Monster Pastafarians taking the right to refuse to pay taxes due to a dislike of money.
    – Christian Scientists (dumbest oxymoron ever) demanding hospitals in their suburbs be shut down.
    – Zen Buddhists refusing to obey road rules because they conferred emotional attachment to the act of driving.
    – Followers of Shiva burning down Christian churches because they are an affront to their god…

    And thus their narrow minded goal is suddenly obvious…

    What they are really demanding is “Religious Freedom” for their version of Christianity. As they see it. On any given day. To apply to everyone else whenever they decide it should. All other religions or the non-religious will be suppressed and discriminated against.

    Are these people 5 years old?

  • Daniel Jones

    Dear Kim:
    You are not issuing a God damned thing from your cell.
    As per your injunction request, you are no longer a county clerk.
    Have a nice day.

  • Joan

    I see an even easier alternative, get a county clerk who does not feel they have the right to pick what laws they will obey. Let Kim out so that she can file for unemployment. Sanction her lawyers for wasting tax payers time and money.

  • Böcker

    Kim Davis in jail for contempt, if she won’t do her job, resign! Her lawyers giving her bad advice. BTW there is no such thing as religious liberty, deal!

    • TZToronto

      Here’s the oath for Country Clerks in KY:

      30A.020 Oath of clerk and deputies.

      Every clerk and deputy, in addition to the oath prescribed by Section 228 of the
      Constitution, shall,before entering on the duties of his office, take the following oath in presence of the Circuit Court: “I, ….., do swear that I will well and truly discharge the duties of the office of………….. County Circuit Court clerk, according to the best of my skill and judgment, making the due entries and records of all orders, judgments, decrees, opinions and proceedings of the court, and carefully filing and preserving in my office all books and papers which come to my possession by virtue of my office; and that I will not knowingly or willingly commit any malfeasance of office, and will faithfully execute the duties of my office without favor, affection or partiality, so help me God.”

      Oops. Looks like she lied to God. Well, she is kind of new to the game.

      • tomtype

        Lying under oath is covered under the 10 commandments, too. She is going to have to have them reissued as the 7 commandments.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The 1st Amendment is clear: “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion. This little Dixoe Belle Baptist is defying the 1st Amendment and demanding the US ignore that government cannot favor her religion in the form of her “religious beliefs.” It’s time to make an example of this woman before these Republican states begin their religious conversion campaigns to force people to live Baptist religious beliefs against our wills.

    Her rights to her religious beliefs do not mean she can impose them on others. And this is from the Communist hating right wing of the US?

  • oldtack

    History does indeed repeat itself. The ultra fanatical Evangelical adherents to a particular “ism” fantasize that they are the chosen ones of some “God” and that their mission is to overturn the rules of Socieiy Law so their “God” and their “Religion” can rule supreme.

    Due to 9/11 and the ongoing conflicts all over the Middle Eastern Countries we tend to equate this type of fanaticism with Radical Islam and rightly so. However, Radical Islam does not stand alone by any far reach of the imagination. Look at France and the Catholic Church in the early to mid 1500’s. The “Bible” of the Christian Faith had been translated and printed and the common people had access to it whereas before this time the “word” was only spoken by Priests and only in Latin. The populace began to question some of the practices of the Church and many became the followers of John Calvin. On St Bartholomew’s Day in 1573 at a big Royalty wedding celebration in Paris Catherine de Medici gave the order to slay the dissenters.and over the course of time thousands were slain and others fled the Country to England and to the Colonies. . This is just a small part of the “history” of the Catholic Inquisition. America has had its share also in the form of the “Puritans and later the Pilgrims (Remember the “Witch” trials and the burning to death of “Witches” in Salem in 1692?)

    Belief in a higher power is an innate feature of all humanity and it is good. But, faith and belief is personal. It has no place in Civil Government.

    If Kim Davis wishes to adhere to her beliefs then all power to her – but only outside the Government Position she occupies.

    this is just a small part

    • TZToronto

      Witches were burned in Europe. No witches were burned in Salem. Almost all were hanged.

      • oldtack

        Thank you TZ. I stand corrected. Appears all condemned were hanged except for one gentleman who was pressed to death by having heavy stones piled atop his body.Being a male, I would presume he was condemned as a warlock?

        Again – thank you for the information and the correction.

      • tomtype

        Witches were burned, drowned, hung, pressed under huge wights. What ever brutality that could be thought up.

  • Sundance98

    Look, KIm has every right to believe anything she wants. However, her oath of office said she would follow “the Laws of the Land, including Kentucky and the County” she serves. She could have disagreed on religious grounds on a thousand things. If so,
    just quit and follow your conscious Kim. Let someone with less religious devotion do your job – and get paid for it.

    • Looner

      She doesn’t have the right to believe that in the job of County Clerk she can refuse to sign the marriage certificate of two consenting adults.

  • Looner

    I was waiting for when her lawyers would try to make it all the Democratic Govenor’s fault …. Except it was 5 days after she was put in jail that her attorneys applied for Little Miss Special Snowflake’s injunction to the Gov. So in true RWNJ fashion, they are trying to make it all Gov. Beshear’s fault. And now the Gov has zealots parked outside his home. I am happy to read however that there are only approx 150 nut cases hanging around protesting on her behalf.

  • Grannysmovin

    “As a prisoner of her conscience, Davis continues to request a simple accommodation and exemption from Governor Beshear, who is overseeing Kentucky marriage policy,” She is a prisoner of her refusal to do her job and denying same sex couples their civil riights. God’s law is the 10 Commandments and not one of those commandment references homosexuality or same sex marriage. Civil marriage is not performed by clergy, and therefore I don’t believe is recognized by religious entities. Without a legal marriage same sex couples are denied benefits of married couples such as
    joint ownership, medical decision-making capacity, etc.

    • tomtype

      Would she, has she approved marriage licenses for where one or more were previously married? Does she question if both of the married people were virgins at marriage? Does she follow the rest of her church’s teachings or just this one thing? Since she has been divorced 3 times and married 4 she is kind of over her own limits. Hardly a “good Christian” by her own lights. But headed for fame and fortune.

  • sunjune

    She holds the key to get out of jail. She’s choosing to stay; WHY?

  • roguerunners

    Please just fire this ignorant person. The tedious process of this whole thing is mind blowing!

    • AmFem101

      Unfortunately, as an elected official, she can’t just be fired.

      • roguerunners

        Unfortunate indeed.

      • tomtype

        But an ethical elected official resigns if they cannot do the job. The judge offered her accommodation. Let another person in the office do the paper work, actually minimal, and let the law proceed. Then she does not have to actually do it, can keep her job. And that is what is happening right now.
        She does not want freedom of religion, for she is also denying marriage licenses for everyone. She is dissatisfied with her $80K salary, she’s after the big money of celebrity “reality TV.”

  • bobnstuff

    Check out the money that is being raised for her. When she gets out she will never have to work again.

    • Polana

      Exactly. Oxy morons and bigots and hypocrites will collect/donate enough money for her to laugh all the way to the bank. Themselves they will eat beans and macaroni and cheese.
      I also heard that good old Graham got rich and getting richer on stupidity of others.


    I am not Gay but know enough to know it is not a “choice”(like she and her ilk preach).
    Brainwashed, Ignorant, little religious fanatics do pis* me off.

    Stupid a*s ignorant people like her make many good Baptists look bad.

    Ministers aside – Most Baptists are, somewhat uncomfortable, but mostly neutral on the gay issue.
    They don’t really like it but wont deny them basic rights. (They mostly don’t understand it since they have been told since childhood that it is a “choice” and work of the devil) .
    Most Baptists would say I don’t agree with it but its the law.
    Then we have this ignorant, brainwashed little girl.
    She should be removed, pay cut for non-performance and sued(individually and by the State) for the trouble she has caused these people.

  • Willy_C

    Well maybe since she says she ‘won’t back down’ – she can let out her home to one of the European migrants who are really escaping religious persecution – maybe both will benefit

  • @HawaiianTater

    I know this is a really difficult concept for some people to understand but SHE is the one violating religious freedom, not the other way around. She is using her position as an elected official to enforce her religious views on society. Those who think her religious freedom is somehow being violated by not allowing her to discriminate against others are complete and utter imbeciles.

    These right wing psychos who claim to care so much about religious freedom are some of the biggest hypocrites in existence. The only religious freedom they care about is their own. What they are doing is the exact opposite of defending religious freedom. There are plenty of churches out there that are not anti-gay and are more than happy to perform gay weddings. The RWNJs don’t care about their religious freedom though. They think gay marriage is a sin, so they want everyone else to live under their biblical laws. What’s so mind-blowingly insane about it is that they are completely incapable of comprehending how they are the actual oppressors of religious freedom in this situation and not the ones being persecuted.

    The stupid: it hurts my brain.

  • DOC

    This has to be Obama”s fault, right???

  • Katstiles

    Her lawyers better get Kim out quick before she gets gay from the stay!