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Religious Tolerance logo

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage (aka gay
marriage) across the U.S. in its ruling of The Obergefell v. Hodges
case from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.

Part 59:
2015-September:
Deputy clerks in Rowan County KY start to issue
marriage licenses. Clerk Kim Davis conditionally
is released from jail. Email received about
"one nation under God," & marriage equality:
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We use the term "gay marriage."to represent the marriage of two persons of
the same sex. We prefer "Same-sex marriage," a more inclusive term that
includes spouses with a bisexual sexual orientation, but it would make this web
site harder to find because most search engines cannot handle synonyms.
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons and transsexuals.
"LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2015-SEP-04: Deputies at the Rowan County clerk's office resumed the issuance of marriage licenses:

On Friday, marriages once more were issued routinely to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples by the County Clerk Deputies,

Kim Davis' lawyers have stated that the marriage licenses were not worth the paper they were printed on; they were invalid; if a same-sex couple used such a license, their marriage would also be invalid.

Laws in most states allow deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses in the absence of the head clerk. Clerk Davis was certainly absent; she was in jail. Kentucky law is unusual in that it allows either clerks or deputy clerks to authorize marriage licenses in either the presence or absence of the chief clerk..

James Yates and William Smith Jr. have been a committed same-sex couple for almost a decade. On Friday, they appeared at the Rowan County, KY office a few minutes after it opened. They had previously tried on five occasions to purchase a marriage license. All those attempts were unsuccessful.

They became the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Kentucky. They paid the standard $35.50 fee to deputy clerk Brian Mason who said: "Congratulations." 1

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2015-SEP-07: Kim Davis' lawyers ask that she be released from detention as soon as possible:

Lawyers representing Clerk Kim Davis filed an emergency motion with Judge David Bunning of the U.S. District Court in Kentucky to have Ms. Davis:

  • Released from jail immediately, and

  • Exempted from issuing marriage licenses. 2

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2015-SEP-08: Judge ordered Kim Davis released from jail, with one condition:

Apparently in response to the request mentioned above, Judge David Bunning of the U.S. District Court in Kentucky ordered that Kim Davis -- the County Clerk of Rowan County -- be released from jail today. She spent five days in detention at Carter County Detention Center after he ruled that she was in contempt of court.

Abby Phillips, writing for the Washington Post, said that Judge Bunning:

"... is satisfied that the county clerk’s office is now complying with the court’s ruling, but that Davis is now ordered not to interfere with the issuing of licenses in Rowan County.

If Davis does directly or indirectly interfere with the issuing of licenses, the court will consider 'appropriate sanctions'." 3

While waiting to be released, she was visited by Ted Cruze and Mike Huckabee. They are competing Republican contenders for the Presidency of the United States in 2016. Both are strongly opposed to marriage equality and equal rights for the LGBT community in general.

Now that Clerk Davis is released, as long as she does nothing to interfere with her deputies issuing licenses, there should be no problem. However, if she does interfere, it is very likely that she will again find herself in contempt of court and imprisoned.

Meanwhile, Davis' lawyers made multiple petitions to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Bunning's contempt of court ruling. 3

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2015-SEP-08: About an email received by this web site about God, the U.S. Constitution, and marriage equality:

One series of arguments raised by many of those who are opposed to marriage equality is that, according to the Bible, same-sex marriage violates God's laws, that the U.S. Constitution is based on God's laws, and that the Constitution makes frequent binding references to the U.S. being "one nation under God."

Apparently inspired by the conflict in Kentucky over marriage equality, Father Anthony Mellace sent an email concerning same-sex marriage to an apparently massive number of recipients, including this web site. It is titled "Good bye Kentucky home." Fr. Mellace refers continually to the "one nation under God" clause that he believes is in the federal Constitution. He wrote:

"Of all the countries of the world, the USA is unique in the sense that it is the only nation on this planet whose “clausula  petrae” is God Himself and His law.  This is made very clear in her Constitution where it is written that we are decisively and conscienciously [sic] 'one nation under God.'

"Any judge who makes a decision in conflict with this prime principle violates the US constitution and shows himself to be an incompetent, grossly ignorant and naïve interpreter of the Constitution. He is to be immediately removed from his position and office and fined and imprisoned for not having faithfully obeyed the 'one nation under God' clause'."

No judge or politician therefore can redefine natural marriage, allow the permission of gay marriages or homo-erotic activities ..."

"Now, if the US government would rid the Constitution of the 'one nation under God' clause, then they and the judges would be justified in any immoral decisions they would make, since the ' clausula petrae' would be none thing more  than themselves. ... Our country would then be 'one nation under Satan' and these words could be legitimately and fittingly written in the new strange Constitution..." 4

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Emily Shapiro, "Meet the 1st Same-Sex Couple to Get Marriage License in Rowan County, Ky.," ABC News, 2015-SEP-04 at:
  2. Lauren Hodges, "Attorneys For Jailed Kentucky Clerk Ask For Emergency Release," National Public Radio, 2015-SEP-07, at: http://www.npr.org/
  3. Abby Phillips. "Judge orders Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis released from jail," Washington Post, 2015-SEP-08, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
  4. Fr. Anthony Mellace, "Good bye Kentucky home," email, received 2015-SEP-07.

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How you may have arrived here:

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-SEP-07
Latest update: 2015-SEP-16
Author: B.A. Robinson
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