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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 65:
2015-SEP-14 to 21:
Kim Davis to receive prestigious award. (Cont'd)
U.S. 6th Court of Appeals rejects another appeal.
Only one marriage license application refused.
Problems over validity of marriage licenses.
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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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2014-SEP-14: Kim Davis to receive the Family Research Council's "Cost of Discipleship" award:

Like Mariam Ibraheem, Clerk Kim Davis of Rowan County, KY, was sent to jail. However, there were differences between the treatment received by the two women. The Kentucky jail was clean, and she only spent a few days there. She was not shackled. She was not forced to give birth there under horrendous conditions. She was not sentenced with the death penalty.

Also, she also could have exercised one of two options which would have prevented or immediately terminated her incarceration:

  • She could have agreed to follow the law of the land, her oath of office, the Golden Rule, Jesus' instructions to his followers, and the court order by agreeing to authorize marriage licenses for qualified same-sex couples.

  • Alternately, she could have agreed to do nothing, and allow the deputy clerks in her office to authorize such licenses for her.

She appears to have taken the second option, at least for now.

FRC president, Tony Perkins, wrote in a press release:

"When other people might have cowered in fear, Kim took a stand. And today, millions of Americans stand with her and for the religious freedom upon which our nation was founded.

"While the Court redefined marriage, it did not redefine the First Amendment. Thank goodness for people of courage like Kim Davis, who refuses to let religious liberty be trampled by legal tyranny. We applaud her." 1

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2015-SEP-15: Court of Appeals rejects another appeal by Kim Davis:

Months ago, Kim Davis had earlier sued Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear (D) and State Librarian Wayne Onkst. They had ordered all clerks in Kentucky to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She filed a request with the 6th U.S. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that she not be required to issue such licenses while the lawsuit proceeded. That request was denied.

Her request was denied by a federal appeals court. The court commented:

"Davis has not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on her federal constitutional claims." 2,3

That leaves just one more active appeal that is currently before the 6th Circuit. It would have that court declare that the District Court's earlier ruling in favor of Rowan County issuing gay marriage licenses apply only to the four plaintiff couples, and not to any future couples. 2 The chances of the Appeals Court ruling in favor of this appeal is essentially zero.

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2015-SEP-21: Only one marriage license request was denied in Rowan County during previous two weeks:

The Rowan County office released a statement confirming that it had issued a marriage license whenever requested during the previous two weeks, with one exception. He was:

"...a gentleman who stated that he wanted a license that would permit him to marry Jesus. ... When it was explained to the individual that both parties had to be present, he stated, 'Jesus is always present.'

After being denied, the gentleman returned later and presented a type of Power of Attorney document issued by his church granting him authority to sign 'Jesus' ' name."

However, the man's proposed husband was not present. At least, the latter's presence was not visible. Thus the applicant's request for a license was denied. 4

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2015-SEP-22: Problems over validity of marriage licenses:

Opinion is divided whether the marriage licenses being issued in Rowan County, KY are actually valid. They do not contain the signature of the county clerk, Kim Davis. In place of her signature and title, they state: "Pursuant to federal court order." Governor Beshear (D) had issued a statement saying that the licenses are valid, but Davis' lawyers at Liberty Counsel disagreed. Now, the four plaintiffs' lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union in the original case before U.S. District Court have their doubts as well.

The ACLU has filed a motion with the Court saying:

"The adulterated marriage licenses received by Rowan County couples will effectively feature a stamp of animus against the LGBT community, signaling that, in Rowan County, the government's position is that LGBT couples are second-class citizens unworthy of official recognition and authorization of their marriage licenses but for this Court’s intervention and Order." 5

Their argument is not particularly strong, because all licenses issued by this office -- whether to same-sex or opposite-sex couples -- lack Davis' signature.

The ACLU is asking U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning to issue an order requiring Clerk Davis to reissue recent licenses with her signature in place, and to continue this practice with future licenses. They are asking that if she refuses, that she be replaced with someone who will follow the normal procedure.

The core problem is that District Judge Bunning has stated that Davis' signature merely indicates that the marriage license applicants are legally qualified to obtain a license. Kim Davis disagrees. She sincerely believes that her signature would also indicate her personal approval of the subsequent gay marriage. She believes that God condemns all same-gender sexual behavior and that for her to sign the form would be an immoral act.

"MichaelSuperman1" posted a comment to the article in The Blaze in an attempt to clarify the conflict. He wrote:

"If I believe it is morally wrong for people to get divorced because it says so in the Bible and I refuse to grant any divorces and you will back me up? If I believe it is morally wrong for women to drive [vehicles] can I refuse to issue drivers licenses to women and you will back me up?

All divisiveness and conflict initiated by religion begins with one person judging another person's faith. It’s possible that’s why the Bible says, 'judge not lest ye be judged'. 5

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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. "Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis to Be Honored at Values Voter Summit," Family Research Council, 2015-SEP-14, at: http://www.frc.org/
  2. Claire Galofaro, "Court again denies Kim Davis' bid to delay marriage licenses," MSN, 2015-SEP-16, at: http://www.msn.com/
  3. Tierney Sneed, "Appeals Court Bats Down Another Anti-Gay Marriage Motion By Kim Davis," Talking Points Memo, 2015-SEP-15, at: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/
  4. Adam Carlson, ",Kim Davis' office has rejected one marriage license: Man wanting to marry Jesus," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2015-SEP-21, at: http://www.ajc.com/
  5. Billy Hallowell, "Why the Defiant Kentucky Clerk Could Soon Be Back in Court Over Gay Marriage Licenses," The Blaze, 2015-SEP-22, at: http://www.theblaze.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-SEP-15
Latest update: 2015-SEP-22
Author: B.A. Robinson
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