Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been smacked down by nearly every court she can appeal to – but incredibly she still isn’t done refusing to marry gays.
Kim Davis, a County Clerk from Rowan County, claims that her religious belief means she can’t issue licences to gay couples – despite it being her job to do so.
Davis had appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that religious freedom means she doesn’t have to do her job – but this week the highest court in the US also refused to issue her a stay.
The one-line ruling means that Davis she has likely exhausted her avenue of legal challenges to stall on the issue – and could now face repercussions if she continues to refuse to marry same-sex couples.
Astoundingly, she is still refusing to marry gay couples today, directly defying the Supreme Court and putting herself at risk of contempt of court charges.
Two same-sex couples walked into her Rowan County Courthouse today, alongside a number of TV cameras and protesters.
Davis initially remained in her office while a staff member informed the couples – April Miller and Karen Roberts, and David Ermold and David Moore – that they would not be married.
However, the clerk eventually emerged – and explain she is still refusing to do her job.
Ms Miller said: “We were hopeful that we would get a license this morning, but we also understood that she has taken a pretty strong stand, so it was not a surprise.
“I respect her for standing up for what she believes in… I know that’s hard to do, because we’re doing that, too. I’m just sorry that she’s interjecting her personal beliefs above her government job duties.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has urged for her to face contempt of court charges.
The ACLU said in legal filings: [She] has, in fact, violated a definite and specific order of this Court.
“Because Davis cannot show either that she is unable to comply with the August 12, 2015, order or that she has taken all reasonable steps to comply, this Court is left with no choice but to hold her in contempt.
“Plaintiffs do not seek to compel Davis’ compliance through incarceration. Since Defendant Davis continues to collect compensation from the Commonwealth for duties she fails to perform, Plaintiffs urge the the Court to impose financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous to compel Davis’ immediate compliance without further delay.”
Anti-LGBT activist Mat Staver, who is representing Davis in the case, signalled that Davis understands she will face “consequences”.
He said yesterday: “She’s going to have to think and pray about her decision overnight. She certainly understands the consequences either way.
“She’ll report to work tomorrow, and face whatever she has to face.”
Though Davis insists her case is one of ‘religious freedom’, the involvement of Staver’s law firm shows that even if she won’t marry gays, she’s perfectly willing to work with homophobes.
Staver has claimed children will be “forced” into same-sex relationships, compared equal marriage to Islamic State, and suggested that gay equality will cause straight men to cheat on their wives with other men.