A Kentucky clerk will be allowed to refuse to marry gay couples – after a judge stayed a ruling forcing her to do so.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was catapulted into the public eye after she was caught on camera refusing to serve a same-sex couple.
US District Judge David L Bunning recently ordered Davis to comply with the US Supreme Court ruling finding that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right – but she was caught again refusing to marry couples this month.
However, in a logical twist this week, Bunning stayed a decision to not delay the original ruling – which effectively delays it anyway and puts the ruling on hold.
He wrote: “If the Court decided to delay enforcement of its Order while Davis pursues an unpromising appeal, it would essentially give Plaintiffs a favourable legal ruling with no teeth and prolong the likely violation of their constitutional rights.”
Instead, the ruling will be put on hold while Davis appeals to US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals – allowing her to continue to discriminate in the meantime.
Many see Davis’ appeal as nonsense, as the Supreme Court is almost guaranteed to reject it out of hand if it makes it that far.
Davis claimed of her decision to discriminate against gay people: “This is not something I decided because of this decision that came down .It was thought-out and, you know, I sought God on it.”
Even the Governor of Kentucky Steve Beshear – a former opponent of equality himself – has told Davis to either do her job or resign.
He said: “When you voluntarily decide to run for office, and you win, and you raise your hand and you take the oath to uphold the Constitutions of the United States… that oath doesn’t say ‘I will uphold the parts of the Constitution that I agree with and won’t with the parts I don’t agree with.’
“You can continue to have your own personal beliefs but, you’re also taking an oath to fulfil the duties prescribed by law, and if you are at that point to where your personal convictions tell you that you simply cannot fulfil your duties that you were elected to do, than obviously an honourable course to take is to resign and let someone else step-in who feels that they can fulfil those duties.”